Blue wave? Dem candidates raise millions in battle for House

Blue wave? Dem candidates raise millions in battle for House
© The Hill

Democratic House candidates are raking in millions of dollars in the final fundraising quarter before the midterms in November, continuing their strong fundraising streak in the high-stakes battle for the House.

A handful of candidates running in this cycle’s most competitive House races are pulling in seven-figure hauls in the third fundraising quarter of 2018, which runs from July to September, according to fundraising numbers campaigns have released so far.

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Those figures are on par with Senate candidates' fundraising for a statewide race.

Two Democrats — Amy McGrath in Kentucky and Josh Harder in California — have raised more than $3 million each, which are eye-popping fundraising numbers for House candidates.

McGrath, who’s running in a hotly contested race against Rep. Andy BarrAndy Hale BarrMcConnell campaign criticized for tombstone with challenger's name McConnnell launches statewide attack ad against Democratic Senate challenger Kentucky Democrat announces challenge to GOP Rep. Andy Barr MORE (R-Ky.), raised $3.65 million in the third quarter, ending September with $1.7 million in the bank.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE easily won the district by double-digits in 2016, but the race for Kentucky’s 6th District has emerged as a top race as Democrats seek to flip 23 seats to gain a majority in the House.

And in California, Harder, who’s challenging Rep. Jeff DenhamJeffrey (Jeff) John DenhamEx-GOP Rep. Roskam joins lobbying firm Ex-GOP Rep. Denham heads to lobbying firm Crazy California an outlier? No, we are the canary in the coal mine MORE (R-Calif.) in a district that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTop Sanders adviser: Warren isn't competing for 'same pool of voters' Anti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Republicans plot comeback in New Jersey MORE won in 2016, similarly raised $3.5 million in the third quarter.

Those two House candidates have raised more than a majority of Senate candidates running in this cycle’s most competitive races.

In the second fundraising quarter of 2018, only five Senate candidates or incumbents running in the 14 marquee Senate races this cycle raised more than Harder's or McGrath’s $3.5 million hauls.

Other House Democrats have pulled in fundraising totals that have exceeded $1 million in the third fundraising quarter, and at least a few candidates brought in more than $2 million.

Democrat Sean Casten, who’s running against Rep. Peter Roskam Peter James RoskamEx-GOP Rep. Roskam joins lobbying firm Blue states angry over SALT cap should give fiscal sobriety a try Illinois Dems offer bill to raise SALT deduction cap MORE (R-Ill.), pulled in $2.6 million in the third quarter, while Democrat Sharice Davids raised $2.7 million in Kansas.

Davids, who’s running against Rep. Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers Kansas Senate race splits wide open without Pompeo Mike Pompeo to speak at Missouri-Kansas Forum amid Senate bid speculation MORE (R-Kan.), would be the first Native American woman elected to Congress if she wins in November. Both districts were carried by Clinton.

A handful of other Democratic candidates also raised more than $1.5 million in the third quarter, including Dana Balter in New York, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan in Illinois and Aftab Pureval in Ohio.

Democratic House candidates have repeatedly dominated fundraising this cycle in a year that many speculate could be building into a blue wave.

In the second fundraising quarter of 2018, more than 50 Democratic candidates outraised House GOP incumbents, and 21 Democrats raised more than $1 million each between April and June.

Still, even with Democratic candidates’ massive hauls, Republican outside groups have been able to counter with their own high-dollar fundraising and have been flooding the airwaves with ads.

Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanEmbattled Juul seeks allies in Washington Ex-Parkland students criticize Kellyanne Conway Latina leaders: 'It's a women's world more than anything' MORE (R-Wis.), is planning to spend $100 million in the battle for the House, with advertisements and field offices in dozens of competitive districts as they seek to protect the GOP’s House majority.