By Cameron Joseph - 04/17/13 09:00 AM EDT
House Democrats are winning the early round of the 2013 fundraising battle over a number of at-risk Republicans.
Several House Republicans facing potentially tough reelection campaigns reported lackluster results in first-quarter filings with the Federal Election Commission, which were due Monday.
“This should be a wake-up call to Republican members,” one GOP strategist told The Hill.
“They need to step it up if they want to keep the majority and keep [Rep.] Nancy Pelosi [D-Calif.] out of the Speaker’s chair.”
Reps. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) and David Valadao (R-Calif.), who both face challenging reelection prospects in Democratic-leaning districts, each raised less than $100,000 for the quarter.
Valadao has less than $140,000 on hand and is carrying $40,000 in debt, while Miller has $415,000 in the bank.
Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.), who could be forced to fight tough primary and general election races, barely topped $40,000, and has just $36,000 in the bank.
Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) brought in just over $40,000 in the slightly Republican-leaning district.
Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) raised less than $30,000, though he has the ability to self-fund his campaigns.
Other Republicans facing potentially competitive races are off to slow starts for the fundraising cycle.
Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), a top Democratic target, raised less than $160,000. Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.) raised less than $140,000, and Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) raised less than $90,000, although he has nearly $290,000 cash on hand.
Reps. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Bill Young (R-Fla.) each raised $50,000.
Both longtime congressmen have had little problem holding onto their swing seats, but retirement rumors have swirled around them for years, and — if they do leave office — those seats could be very competitive.
Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), who Democrats hope to target despite his district’s conservative lean, raised just $60,000. Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) brought in less than $140,000.
There were a few GOP standouts, however.
Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), a close ally of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), hauled in more than $300,000. Freshman Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), a top Democratic target, brought in more than $400,000, while Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) topped $300,000.
The overall pattern of GOP underperformance was mirrored at the national level.
The NRCC has lagged behind the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this year; it had $4.4 million in the bank to the DCCC’s $7.6 million as of the end of February.
“Republicans in Congress are finding the same problem with donors that polls show they have with voters — no one likes them,” said Jesse Ferguson, communications director for the DCCC.
Some Democrats had poor fundraising quarters.
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), a perennially weak fundraiser, brought in less than $90,000 and has just over $70,000 in her campaign account.
Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), a top GOP target in a heavily Republican district, raised just $120,000.
Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.) all barely topped $100,000, though all three have won comfortably in their swing districts in previous years.
Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) brought in just $140,000.
However, many more Democrats posted big hauls.
Freshman Reps. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.), Joe Garcia (D-Fla.) and Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.) all topped $500,000.
Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.), who holds a heavily Republican seat and is mulling a Senate run, brought in $420,000.
Freshman Reps. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.), all potential targets, topped $300,000 apiece. Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) and Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.), now in their second terms after 2012 victories, also cleared the $300,000 bar.
Some early Democratic recruits got off to fast starts as well. Former Colorado state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D) brought in more than $500,000 and has a $100,000 cash advantage over Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), who also topped $500,000 for the quarter.
New York Democrat Sean Eldridge brought in more than $300,000, doubling Rep. Chris Gibson’s (R-N.Y.) $130,000 in fundraising for the quarter.
New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia (D) raised more than $410,000, outpacing Rep. Michael Grimm’s (R-N.Y.) $320,000.