Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats outraised their Republican rivals in the month of May, but for the first time this election season, the GOP committee reports having more cash on hand.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee reported Monday raising $3.6 million last month, bringing the organization's total cash on hand to $18.1 million. The committee, charged with helping elect Republicans to the Senate, also reported Monday that it is debt free.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, meanwhile, raised $5 million in May and has $17.57 million on hand – about a $500,000 less than the Republicans. The Democrats have zero debt as well.
Democrats spent $4.56 million in May while Republicans spent $2.5 million.
NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh notes that in 2008, at this time, the GOP committee lagged its Democratic counterpart in cash on hand by $17 million. Walsh says the current fundraising totals are evidence of a "remarkable turn-around."
But in a month where a string of polls indicated that voter enthusiasm is on the Republican side, Democrats are stressing they outraised the GOP by more than $1 million.
The Democrats and Republicans are each defending 18 Senate seats this November. The Democrats currently hold a 59 to 41 advantage in the chamber, thanks to the support of independent Senators Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Saunders of Vermont, who caucuses with the Democrats.