Jack Reed’s war chest hits $2.57M; still a 99% favorite to win

jack_reed_student_loans_3-13-2012_APU.S. Sen. Jack Reed may be the least vulnerable incumbent Democrat in the United States, but that isn’t stopping him from stockpiling plenty of money to fund his re-election bid next year.

Reed’s campaign raised $704,411 during the three months ended June 30 and spent $189,677, according to figures his office provided at WPRI.com’s request. Reed, who is seeking a fourth six-year term, finished the second quarter with $2.57 million on hand.

The new fundraising numbers were disclosed the same day Nate Silver, The New York Times’ political numbers guru, released his updated forecast for U.S. Senate races in 2014 – and again gave Reed eye-popping 99% odds of winning re-election next year, unchanged from February.

Other numbers in the updated forecast may be a cause for concern in Reed’s office, however.

That’s because Reed is in line to succeed retiring Michigan Democrat Carl Levin in 2015 as chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee – but Silver now forecasts Republicans will hold either 50 or 51 Senate seats after next year’s election, and if the GOP reaches the magic number of 51, Reed will be stuck in the minority come 2015 rather than getting the chairman’s gavel.

No Republican has emerged so far to challenge Reed, and party leaders say it’s highly unlikely they’ll mount any significant challenge to the senator senator’s re-election bid next year; Reed got 73% of the vote in 2008 and 78% in 2002, defeating Republican Robert Tingle both times.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Reed’s fellow Democrat, received 65% of the vote last November.

• Related: Jack Reed set to become one of the most senior Senate Dems (April 23)

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