It’s no secret that Nevada's Republican Senate nominee Adam Laxalt is behind on fundraising. But while he’s chest-thumping in public and forecasting the state will swing red, he’s simultaneously griping that his Democratic opponent isn’t having the same problem attracting donors.
In audio obtained by The Daily Beast from a July luncheon with the Southern Hills Republican Women, Laxalt, amid the sounds of clinking cutlery, said, “The Democrats have unlimited money, they have unlimited money. You think we have it bad here? Masto has, she just did $10 million she has to spend, we have $2 million. She’s on TV now because she has money and we don’t.”
“In Georgia, it’s $20 million to $3 million. In Ohio, it’s $12 million to $1 million,” Laxalt told the attendees, who paid between $36 and $41 to hear candidates speak at Dragon Ridge Country Club in Henderson, Nevada, according to an Eventbrite for the event.
But Laxalt wasn’t done complaining.
On the Sebastian Gorka show in August, Laxalt suggested “big tech” is censoring his fundraising emails, blocking him from being as well-funded as Cortez Masto.
“What we’re seeing out of big tech, and everybody knows Hunter Biden, and all the political censorship, but even the campaign world right now… Over 90 percent of our fundraising emails are being sent to junk,” he said. “The Democrats, none of their emails gets sent to junk, right? And so doesn’t take a genius to know why our fundraising on the small dollars is slower and theirs is bigger.”
In a Fox News interview in August, Laxalt insisted Democrats have “all the money in the world,” but added that he doesn’t think it will help Cortez Masto cross the finish line.
In another Fox News interview in August, he suggested reports that Democrats could have an edge in Senate contests after the overturning of Roe v. Wade was a form of “voter and donor suppression.”
By the numbers, Laxalt has plenty to complain about. While Democrats don’t have unlimited money, they’ve been leading Republicans in a number of high-profile Senate races, including in Nevada. Incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto has raised more than $29 million, while Laxalt has raised just over $7 million, according to the campaign-finance tracking-site Open Secrets.
That’s difficult news for candidates like Laxalt in Nevada, who could help tip control of the Senate is he manages to upset Cortez Masto. National Republican operatives have been bullish about his success, pointing to his experience as the state’s attorney general, high name ID and MAGA-faithful brand could amp up voters this November.
Not to mention both his father, Pete Domenici (R-NM)—and grandfather, Paul Laxalt (R-NV)—were U.S. senators.
Democrats’ national campaign arms including the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, meanwhile, consider Cortez Masto a must-win for the party. She is the first Latina to serve in the Senate and has built a reputation of being a moderate but reliable vote for Democrats’ agenda.
Back at the luncheon, Laxalt pointed out that Cortez Masto has brought in the majority of her fundraising from out-of-state donors. “She doesn’t have to leave the state, she doesn’t have to do fundraisers. She doesn’t need to travel across the country,” he said.
“Someone on her campaign team hits a button, scaring leftists across the country that somehow I’m gonna do X, Y, and Z, and they pile on.”
Laxalt, as he points out himself, isn’t the only GOP Senate candidate in a competitive race struggling to top their opponent in fundraising.
In Ohio, J.D. Vance (R) has raised over $3 million to Rep. Tim Ryan’s (D) more than $21 million. In Pennsylvania, Mehmet Oz (R) has raised almost $19 million to Pennsylvania Lieutenant Gov. John Fetterman’s almost $26 million. In Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio (R) has raised roughly $36 million to Rep. Val Demings’ (D) roughly $47 million. And in Arizona, Republican Blake Masters has raised just under $5 million, which pales in comparison to incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D) $52 million.
Those lagging numbers only add to the difficult spending position Senate Republicans are in this campaign cycle. The Washington Post reported earlier this week that the National Republican Senatorial Committee has blown through its cash, in part due to new tactics employed by NRSC chair Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL).
As of now, the NRSC had only $23.2 million left on hand at the end of July, while the DSCC has $54.1 million. That’s left some Republicans publicly worried about being able to fund their get-out-the-vote effort in competitive races.
Scott on Thursday said he was “refusing to repeat a losing strategy,” pointing to Republicans losing the Senate last cycle, adding that “in order to make these changes, we had to break some china.”
Laxalt’s campaign spokesperson Brian Freimuth told The Daily Beast in a statement, “Our campaign will have the resources to prosecute the case against Sen. Cortez Masto,” adding that the campaign believes inflation will be a driving factor in Nevadans’ decisions.
Cortez Masto campaign spokesperson Josh Marcus-Blank told The Daily Beast in a statement, “More than 12,000 Nevadans have donated to Senator Cortez Masto’s campaign this cycle because she’s always fighting for her state.”
And Laxalt, even after publicly loathing his fundraising numbers at the luncheon, proceeded to stay confident.
“This is our year,” he said. “We’re going to make it happen.”