Tepid fundraising hampers House incumbents, 2014 challengers

Several House incumbents and highly touted 2014 challengers in both parties reported lackluster fundraising in the third quarter, raising new questions about which races are likely to be competitive next year. 

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At the same time, a number of vulnerable House Republicans made strong fundraising gains after tepid early quarters, including Reps. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Gary Miller (R-Calif.) and David Valadao (R-Calif.). 

Here are six winners — and losers — in the last fundraising quarter.

LOSERS

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.): $59,000 raised; $39,000 cash on hand.

Bentivolio has been dubbed the "accidental congressman" by some after stumbling into a House seat following Rep. Thad McCotter's (R-Mich.) resignation. He has failed to attract much money since, and will likely be the underdog in his own primary. His opponent, businessman David Trott (R), raised a whopping $649,000 and has $452,000 in the bank.

David Rouzer (North Carolina Republican): $92,000 raised; $178,000 cash on hand.

Rouzer nearly beat Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) in a heavily Republican district last election, and the race is a top GOP priority. But his failure to raise serious money is a bad sign. McIntyre, however, didn't do that much better, bringing in $189,000 and sitting on $524,000.

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.): $82,000 raised; $227,000 cash on hand.

Peterson has long had low fundraising numbers in nonelection years, but has always managed to win his GOP-leaning district in the face of tough opposition. But the low total has some buzzing he might retire after this term. Peterson has not announced he'll definitely run for reelection, and if he retires the seat will be a prime GOP pickup opportunity.

Former Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.): $33,000 raised; $37,000 cash on hand.

Baca lost to another Democrat in 2012 and is now seeking a return to Congress in a nearby Democratic-leaning seat held by Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.). The DCCC has frozen him out, backing Redlands, Calif. Mayor Pete Aguilar (D), who has $438,000 in the bank. Baca has struggled to raise any money on his own. Attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes (D) also raised a six-figure sum. There's a real chance Baca doesn't even finish in the top two in the primary.

California state Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R): $76,000 raised; $151,000 cash on hand.

Nestande was outraised by freshman Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) by a 4-to-1 margin over the last three months heading into his announcement that he was running earlier this week. If he and national Republicans hope to make this swing seat competitive, he'll need to step up his fundraising now that he's officially a candidate.

Michael Eggman (California Democrat): $80,000 raised; $147,000 cash on hand.

Eggman, a California beekeeper, was highly touted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee when he decided to challenge Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) earlier this year. But he'll need to post better numbers going forward to challenge Denham. 

WINNERS:

Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa): $417,000 raised; $871,000 cash on hand.

Latham, a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), has long been a top fundraiser, and his last quarter shows he'll have plenty of money to defend his swing seat. Democrat Staci Appel raised a respectable $239,000, but will likely be playing catch-up in the money chase from now until Election Day.

Andrew Romanoff (Colorado Democrat): $525,000 raised; $1,335,000 cash on hand.

Romanoff has kept up his meteoric fundraising for his race against Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.). Coffman won by a surprisingly large margin in a newly drawn swing district outside Denver in 2012, but Romanoff, a former state Senate leader and U.S. Senate candidate, is proving he'll be formidable foe. He now has the edge in cash on hand — Coffman has $1,228,000 after a strong $500,000 quarter.

Martha McSally (Arizona Republican): $349,000 raised; $388,000 cash on hand.

McSally, an Air Force veteran, is off to a quick start for her rematch against Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), outraising him in the last three months. She lost by a narrow margin last time around and looks to be on pace to give him another tough race.

Sean Eldridge (New York Democrat): $504,000 raised; $956,000 cash on hand.

The husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes pulled in a huge sum in the last three months,  half of it coming from his own wallet. Eldridge nearly doubled the $260,000 raised by Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) and surpassing Gibson's $653,000 cash on hand by a substantial margin. Eldridge will be well-funded in the suburban New York City district, where airtime will be expensive.

Saratoga Springs, Utah, Mayor Mia Love (R): $375,000 raised; $672,000 cash on hand.

Love, seeking a rematch after narrowly losing to Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah), is once again raising big money for the race. She now has almost as much cash as Matheson, who raised $278,000 and has $678,000 in the bank. She burned through much of that money, though, spending $374,000 in the last quarter.

Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.): $410,000 raised; $1,000,000 cash on hand.

Garcia brought in the impressive sum despite having a rash of bad press in the district relating to allegations of criminal activity by two former staffers. He'll need to keep that pace up: The district is a pure tossup, and his challenger, Carlos Curbelo (R), hauled in $452,000 and has $410,000 in the bank.

This post was updated at 4:05 p.m.