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georgia runoffs

Schumer reportedly abandons fundraising efforts in Georgia's Senate runoffs

Democrats still have a chance to retake the Senate — but the body's leadership has reportedly all but given up.

Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are challenging Georgia GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in races that will determine the outlook of the Senate. But as Ossoff and Warnock scramble to match Republicans' fundraising efforts, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has stopped meeting with donors altogether, a source tells NBC News.

Over the past two months, Ossoff and Warnock have each brought in more than $100 million, largely via grassroots donations. Their fundraising totals beat out the Republicans' efforts during the same periods, but outside Republican groups are winning in terms of big-dollar TV ad spending, NBC News reports. This leaves the GOP with plenty of resources to engage in direct voter contact and encourage new or unlikely voters to turn out on their behalf on Jan. 5 — something Warnock and Ossoff's campaign managers called "essential" in a campaign memo obtained by NBC News. "To win this election in 8 days, we need to continue our historic efforts to turn out every single voter — but we won't be able to do that if our fundraising revenue continues to fall," the managers wrote.

Outside Democratic donors did spend big during the 2020 election cycle in an effort to overturn the Republicans' Senate majority. But after Democrats failed to decisively do so, Schumer has reportedly stopped asking for more support. Despite the fact that President-elect Joe Biden flipped the state for the first time in decades, Schumer is "pessimistic" about Ossoff and Warnock's chances and is no longer meeting with donors to avoid ruining relationships for years to come, the source tells NBC News. But as Ossoff and Warnock's campaigns see it, donations focused on boosting turnout have never been more important. Read more at NBC News. Kathryn Krawcyzk

Update 2:30 p.m. ET: A spokesperson for Schumer said NBC News' reporting is "absolutely not true." The representative, Justin Goodman, added that "Schumer has diligently made calls and fundraised for both Georgia candidates and is optimistic about their chances in January."