Senate Democrats have record fundraising month

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The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee posted another record fundraising month, bringing in $6.8 million in February and raising its total for the election cycle to $66 million.

After its best February haul ever, the campaign arm set up to defend Democratic candidates for Senate has $18.1 million on hand and $1.2 million in debt.

The DSCC has been outpacing its GOP counterpart, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, boosted in part by fundraising events featuring President Obama. But Senate Democrats will need every dollar and more to compete with big-spending, pro-Republican outside groups.

The DSCC will also need to raise a hefty sum to fund a new voter-turnout scheme, the Bannock Street project, which aims to mold the electorate to fit the shape of a presidential-election year, which tends to favor Democrats. The DSCC has estimated the project will cost roughly $60 million.

"We know our biggest challenge in the midterms is turnout, and we need our supporters to continue to help us win each month so we can provide our campaigns with cover on television and fund the most aggressive field effort in history," said DSCC executive director Guy Cecil.

The stakes could not be higher for Democrats, who are at risk of losing their six-seat majority in the Senate. Republicans have expanded the battleground map to include states such as Colorado and New Hampshire, signaling their confidence.



House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi predicted that President Obama's health care law would be a "winner" for Democratic congressional candidates in swing districts.

"You have to ask them, the member, but I believe that it's a winner," the California Democrat told reporters.

She downplayed a narrow loss by Democrat Alex Sink in a special election in Florida's 13th Congressional District. The winner, Republican David Jolly, hammered Sink over her support for Obamacare. But Pelosi said Democrats have been "proud" to extol the virtues of the law.

"We're very confident about the path that the Affordable Care Act is in," she said. "Everybody has to spread the word as to what this is."

Pelosi also downplayed comments by Sink and other Democrats that the health care law, while essentially sound, needs fixing.

"Just because people say, 'I don't want to repeal it, but I do want to fix it,' doesn't mean they're walking away from it," she said.

Republicans believe that public concerns over Obamacare will boost the GOP in November’s midterm elections. Polls show the law is unpopular following the botched rollout of the administration’s insurance exchanges and new regulations that could cost many people their current health plans.



White House press secretary Jay Carney dismissed questions about whether tensions with Russia over Crimea would hurt former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's political future as “superficial” and “flaccid thinking.”

“That’s a pretty superficial way of looking at things,” Carney told reporters.

Carney was asked if the controversy over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea would be a “liability” for Clinton, after critics suggested the issue could make voters re-examine her record.

“There’s an attempt to see everything through the lens of the next election cycle, but that’s pretty flaccid thinking,” Carney said.

Clinton played a key role as secretary of state in the Obama administration when it touted a “reset” with Russia.

But that reboot in U.S.-Russian ties never materialized amid a number of high-profile disagreements between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin over the civil war in Syria, Moscow's decision to grant asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, anti-gay legislation in Russia and the annexation of Crimea.

Clinton has taken a tough stance toward Russia, calling its seizure of Crimea “illegal.”

She has also compared Putin’s moves to Adolf Hitler's actions in the 1930s. Clinton later sought to explain those comments, saying that she only intended to offer up “a little historic perspective.”

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