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Four Democratic senators already girding for midterm elections

First-termers could face lengthy, expensive campaigns in 2014

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Too early to think about the 2014 midterm elections?

Not for a quartet of first-term Democratic senators who face potentially contentious — and expensive — re-election campaigns ahead of an Election Day that's more than 21 months away.

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; Kay Hagan, D-N.C.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; and Mark Udall, D-Colo.; have teamed up to form Senate Victory 2014, a federal joint fundraising committee, new paperwork filed with the Federal Election Commission indicates.

Such a committee raises cash on behalf of each participant, then distributes funds among them. The setup makes it easier for big-dollar donors to write a single check to the joint committee instead of sending money to multiple candidates.

Judy Zamore of Capitol Compliance Associates will serve as the committee's treasurer.

Why is 2013 an important year for campaign finance? Dave Levinthal and Michael Beckel will answer that, and many other questions about the money-in-politics world in a live chat next Monday, February 4, at 1:00pm ET.