Much has been written about the less-than-stellar 4th quarter fundraising reports that many Republican Senate incumbents and challengers posted. The more relevant question is why.

There are a number of theories, but two seem to resonate the strongest. The first is obvious: the number of competitive primaries in a number of key races in which there is no clear front-runner and the unwillingness of donors to get involved. Indiana and West Virginia are good examples. In Indiana, U.S. Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita had receipts of $427,179 and $459,078, respectively. Neither is an impressive number for a sitting Member of Congress. Both have more respectable cash-on-hand totals at over $2.4 million each. There is a third candidate in the field, businessman and former state Rep. Mike Braun, who reported raising $2.5 million last quarter, but nearly all of it came in the form of personal loans to the campaign. It’s hard to find a GOP strategist who is not involved in one of the campaigns willing to venture a guess on who will win the nomination.

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