Part of assessing the political health of an incumbent requires a look at what kind of financial shape they are in as they prepare to launch bids for re-election. The 2018 year-end reports were filed last week with the Federal Election Commission, giving us the first look at the war chests of the incumbents up in 2020. Generally speaking, every class has a few incumbents who are in excellent shape with millions in the bank at the start of an election cycle. Many more are in adequate shape; they have enough to get a campaign up and running and then some, but their cash-on-hand amounts won’t intimidate potential challengers. Then, there is the handful of incumbents who have less than $1 million in the bank. There are a few reasons for this: an inattention to fundraising when they are out of cycle; an early sign that perhaps an incumbent is considering retiring; or, finally, a special election has depleted the financial resources of a newly minted incumbent. So far, the 34 Senate contests on the ballot in 2020 feature 12
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