There were many reasons for Republicans’ underperformance in 2022: the Dobbs decision, which helped motivate previously unenthusiastic Democratic voters; the polarizing presence of Donald Trump on the campaign trail; the Jan. 6 congressional hearings and the fight over “protecting democracy.”

Record high inflation and dismay over President Joe Biden’s handling of it should have been enough for Republican candidates to overcome those political headwinds. However, many Republican candidates — especially on the Senate side — had their own political baggage that made them unappealing to the very swing voters who should have supported them.

Another self-inflicted wound, Republican operatives and leaders admit, was an over-reliance on outside super PACs for campaign advertising. Democrats’ hard-dollar advantage in House and Senate races allowed them to get on TV earlier and more consistently and, as such, set the terms of the debate. Republican leaders have committed to focusing their efforts this cycle on helping candidates raise the money they need early, and to rely less on outside money.

So, how’s that effort going?

The charts below compare the median cash on hand balances

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