Washington (CNN) - In the 2014 battle for the Senate, the Democrats' "best month" beat out the Republicans' "best month."
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee reported Wednesday that they raised $8.1 million in March, their best month of fundraising this cycle. The Senate Democrats' re-election arm says it's now brought in over $74 million since the beginning of the midterm election season, and they have just over $22 million cash on hand with zero debt.
The DSCC's big haul was helped, in part, by President Barack Obama, who headlined two fundraisers for the committee last month.
The DSCC's numbers come one day after the rival National Republican Senatorial Committee reported that they raised over $6.3 million in March, their best fundraising month this cycle. The NRSC said they've brought in more than $16 million since the start of the year, and added that they have nearly $16 million in the bank.
The committees' fundraising figures are considered one of many indicators of a party's strength heading into the midterms, and of course the money raised by the committees can be used for research, get-out-the-vote efforts, and ads that can help their candidates.
While party money is an important indicator, the increase in massive spending by outside groups, thanks to a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that changed the rules and opened the floodgates, has also become a key factor in elections. The biggest spender this cycle to date is the conservative group Americans For Prosperity. The group, backed by the deep pockets of billionaire industrialist brothers David and Charles Koch has shelled out more than $30 million since October to run ads, most of them focused on health care, that attack Democrats and praise Republicans.
"Republican Senate candidates up and down the map have chosen to advocate for the Koch agenda that's good for billionaire special interests but bad for middle class families across the country. As a reward, the Koch Brothers are pouring unprecedented millions into false attack ads aimed at boosting these Republicans, but Democrats have a strong grassroots network and thousands of generous donors across the country helping us raise the resources we need to fight back," said DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil.
Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states.