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Presidential Contenders Stay Away From Vulnerable Guinta

Guinta, seen above at the New Hampshire Republican Party #FITN Leadership Summit in Nashua on Jan. 23, has multiple primary challengers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

One of the most vulnerable members of the House is lurking in the shadows outside of New Hampshire's presidential spotlight.  

Attention on the Republican presidential candidates in the Granite State's first in the nation primary on Tuesday would normally be a golden opportunity for a down-ballot incumbent like GOP Rep. Frank C. Guinta, who has $12,000 in his campaign account, to hitch a ride, boost his visibility and secure some much-needed donations.  

Time Is Running Out for Senate Primaries Fundraising

Duckworth has outraised her primary and general election opponents. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For several of this year's competitive Senate primaries, the fourth quarter of 2015 was the last fundraising quarter before primary day.  

In Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina, voters go to the polls on March 15, a month before the next Federal Election Commission fundraising report deadline. In all three of those states, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has backed the better-known candidate, who, unsurprisingly, raised more money from October through December of 2015. In Illinois, Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth, the DSCC's pick , raised $1.6 million, beating the $314,000 haul of her closest primary opponent, former Chicago Urban League CEO Andrea Zopp. State Sen. Napoleon Harris reportedly raised about $1 million. Notably for Duckworth, she again slightly out-raised  vulnerable GOP Sen. Mark S. Kirk and substantially narrowed the gap between their cash-on-hand totals.  

4 Things to Watch for in Third-Quarter Fundraising

Grayson's fundraising will show how much populist support is behind him for his Florida Senate bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rival campaigns and political handicappers are anxiously awaiting third-quarter fundraising numbers — due this week — to assess the competitiveness of candidates and contests.  

The quarterly hauls will paint a picture of the kind of support and resources campaigns have — or lack. And as the window closes on recruiting candidates, these numbers could also be what makes top recruits decide to jump into races, or to sit them out.  

7 Key Numbers From Second Quarter Fundraising

McSally raised $1 million in the second quarter, a huge sum for a House member. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the 2016 elections still more than a year away, a dive into quarterly fundraising reports is one of the best ways to assess the viability of campaigns.  

Those who add to their war chests by consistently raising large sums show strength. While those who underperform accumulate doubt.  

GOP Tries to Portray Feingold as a Hypocrite Over PAC Spending

Feingold is running a comeback bid in Wisconsin. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are eager to use former Sen. Russ Feingold's signature issue against him in 2016, as the Democrat wages a comeback bid in a Senate contest key to his party's quest for the majority.  

After losing re-election to a fourth term in 2010, Feingold, who had championed limits on spending in federal elections, launched the Progressives United PAC, which the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported spent a large percentage of the $7.1 million it raised on overhead and staff salaries. Republicans are already attempting to use that news to paint Feingold as a hypocrite.  

Takano, Takai, Takei and a Takaucus

Takai. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Takano and Takai, who know Takei, are teaming up on the Takaucus, a project titled by Tonko.  

“I hope you’re not getting confused,” Rep. Mark Takai, D-Hawaii, said with a laugh. Takai and Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., share both Japanese-American heritage and similar names. The two Democrats are often mistaken for each other and have fun with the confusion.  

Operative Gets 2 Years in First Campaign-Super PAC Coordination Case (Updated)

Harber worked for a candidate trying to oust Connolly, above, from his Virginia House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:35 p.m. |  Tyler Harber, a former Republican political operative, was sentenced to two years in prison for his involvement in illegal coordination between a campaign and a super PAC, according to The Washington Post , in the first case of its kind.  

Harber — who pleaded guilty to the charges in February — is the first political operative to go down for an illegal coordination violation, according to federal prosecutors. Those prosecutors lobbied for a harsh punishment to try to deter others from engaging in similar activities.  

The 7 Most Interesting First-Quarter Fundraising Facts

Burr stepped up his fundraising game in the first quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated April 17, 10:30 a.m. | With roughly a year to go before the first primaries of 2016, fundraising numbers are among the few benchmarks to assess candidate strength.  

A look at first-quarter reports — which were due to the Federal Election Commission Wednesday — shows which members are taking re-election bids seriously and also reveals weaknesses.  

Without an Opponent, Jeff Sessions Still Spends

(Courtesy Sessions campaign)

How does a senator running unopposed for re-election in a red state during a good year for Republicans manage to spend nearly $1 million?  

It adds up fast.