Dems outraising Republicans in final stretch of midterms

Dems outraising Republicans in final stretch of midterms
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More than 70 Democratic House hopefuls outraised Republican incumbents in the third quarter of 2018, according to an analysis by The Hill of newly filed fundraising reports, giving them a sharp financial edge in the final stretch of the midterms.

The filings for the July to September quarter showed Democrats continued their aggressive fundraising in some of the most competitive House and Senate races.

Eight Democrats running for House seats each raised more than $3 million in the same period, while 30 raised more than $2 million and 60 raked in more than $1 million.

Three Democratic candidates brought in upward of $4 million in the third quarter — Gil Cisneros and Andrew Janz in California and Scott Wallace in Pennsylvania. Not all that money came from donors, however, given that Cisneros loaned his campaign $3.5 million, while Wallace loaned $4 million to his.

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The fundraising numbers are the latest boon to Democratic hopes to recapture the House majority in November. The party needs to pick up at least 23 seats to win back control of the chamber from the GOP.

“It’s another reminder of how energized and motivated the Democratic base is,” said Navin Nayak, the executive director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, adding that the wealth of small-dollar donations to Democratic candidates “reinforces that there’s a ton of enthusiasm for candidates who are going to reject corporate PAC money.”

In the previous quarter, just over 50 Democratic House hopefuls raised more than Republican incumbents.

The number of Democrats who outraised GOP incumbents in this quarter continued a trend of record-setting fundraising that has helped empower Democrats in 2018.

The strong numbers are part of a larger trend of heightened enthusiasm among Democratic voters and donors driven by deep dissatisfaction with Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress.

The Democratic fundraising hauls were also in no small part fueled by low-dollar donations.

For example, Jennifer Wexton, who is challenging Rep. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockLive coverage: House holds third day of public impeachment hearings Gun debate raises stakes in battle for Virginia legislature Progressives face steep odds in ousting incumbent Democrats MORE (R-Va.), reported an average individual contribution of $54. She outraised Comstock in the third quarter by $1.3 million, according to federal filings.

In Kansas’s 3rd District, Democrat Sharice Davids outraised incumbent Rep. Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderSharice Davids to vote for Trump impeachment articles: 'The facts are uncontested' Feehery: How Republicans can win back the suburbs K Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers MORE (R) by roughly $1.6 million, according to The Hill’s analysis. She brought in $2.8 million, while Yoder trailed at $1.1 million in the third fundraising quarter.

Likewise, Democrat Lauren Baer, who is challenging Rep. Brian MastBrian Jeffrey MastDemocrats start cracking down on masks for lawmakers House Republicans push back against proxy voting GOP lawmakers consider returning to DC despite coronavirus shutdown MORE (R) in Florida’s 18th District, raised $1.6 million between July and September. Mast raked in about $983,500, though he holds the advantage in cash on hand, with $1.4 million to Baer’s $774,000.

Only two Republican candidates in the most competitive House races raised more than Democratic incumbents, federal filings show. Wendy Rogers outraised Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.) $556,500 to $511,600, while Justin Fareed brought in about $130,000 more than Rep. Salud CarbajalSalud CarbajalFederal employees push for COVID-19 protections in 'dangerous' workplaces Hispanic Caucus demands protections for agricultural workers in next coronavirus bill Activists, analysts demand Congress consider immigrants in coronavirus package MORE (D-Calif.).

In 25 of the most competitive House races in which incumbents are not seeking reelection, Democrats outraised their Republican opponents.

In the Arizona seat being vacated by Senate hopeful Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyHealth care group launches M ad campaign hitting Trump in battleground states Senate outlook slides for GOP ACLU calls on Congress to approve COVID-19 testing for immigrants MORE (R), for example, Democrat Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickHouse Democrats jam GOP with coronavirus bill Eleventh Democratic presidential debate to be held in Phoenix Arizona Democrat to get treatment for alcohol dependence after suffering fall MORE brought in over $1.4 million more than her GOP challenger, Lea Marquez Petersen.

And in Florida’s 27th District, the home of retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenTechNet hires Hispanic communications director Bottom line Women are refusing to take the backseat in politics, especially Latinas MORE (R), Democrat Donna Shalala raked in more than $1 million compared to the roughly $563,500 raised by her opponent, Republican Maria Elvira Salazar.

In 14 of the most competitive Senate races, Democrats also largely outraised Republican opponents.

Incumbent Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn Heitkamp70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Susan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA MORE (D-N.D.), who is widely considered among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats seeking reelection this year, raised $3.8 million between July and September, her federal filings show.

Her GOP opponent, Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerGOP skeptical of polling on Trump Senate passes sanctions bill targeting China over Hong Kong law Cruz urges Trump to support Israeli annexation MORE (R-N.D.), scored a bit short of $1.7 million in the same period.

Meanwhile, in the Nevada Senate race, Rep. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenUS lawmakers call on EU to label entire Hezbollah a terrorist organization The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mnuchin sees 'strong likelihood' of another relief package; Warner says some businesses 'may not come back' at The Hill's Advancing America's Economy summit The Hill's Coronavirus Report: CDC Director Redfield responds to Navarro criticism; Mnuchin and Powell brief Senate panel MORE (D) brought in $7 million in the third fundraising quarter, while incumbent Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (R) raised about $2.2 million.

Heller is seen as one of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans this year. He’s seeking reelection in a state won by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSusan Collins signals she won't campaign against Biden Cuccinelli says rule forcing international students to return home will 'encourage schools to reopen' Clinton labels ICE decision on international students 'cruel' and 'unnecessary' MORE in 2016.

In Texas, Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) turned heads last week when he announced that he had raised more than $38 million between July and September — a record haul for a Senate campaign. His opponent, incumbent Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHow conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide Gianforte halts in-person campaigning after wife, running mate attend event with Guilfoyle Trump administration grants funding extension for Texas testing sites MORE (R), brought in about $12 million.

Despite O’Rourke’s massive fundraising advantage, he has never led in a public poll against Cruz and the prospect of winning a Senate seat in Texas remains a long shot for Democrats.

In another hard-fought Senate race, Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillTrump mocked for low attendance at rally Missouri county issues travel advisory for Lake of the Ozarks after Memorial Day parties Senate faces protracted floor fight over judges amid pandemic safety concerns MORE (D-Mo.) raked in more than twice the amount of her GOP opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.

The incumbent Democrat raised about $8.5 million between July and September, while Hawley pulled in $3.2 million. But Hawley ended the quarter with more cash on hand than McCaskill – $3.5 million to her roughly $3.2 million.

Recent polls show McCaskill and Hawley in a virtual dead heat. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, currently puts the race in the “toss-up” column.

In Indiana, Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyEx-Sen. Joe Donnelly endorses Biden Lobbying world 70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents MORE (D) fell short of his Republican challenger Mike Braun, who raised $5.6 million between July and September.

Donnelly, another vulnerable Democrat, brought in a little less than $3.1 million in the same timeframe. He still leads Braun in cash on hand, with $4.5 million compared with his opponent’s roughly $1.9 million.

Despite the outsize fundraising hauls for Democrats, the party’s chances of retaking control of the Senate remain a long shot.

The Senate map poses a tougher challenge for Democrats than in the race for the House. More than two dozen Democratic incumbents are defending their Senate seats this year, including 10 in states that President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE won two years ago.

In order to gain control of the chamber, Democrats would have to hold down 26 of their own seats and flip at least two Republican-held seats in November.

And Republicans are hoping to close the enthusiasm gap with Democrats ahead of Election Day.

In recent weeks, they have sought to seize on the bitter partisan fight surrounding sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughRomney, Collins, Murkowski won't attend GOP convention Susan Collins signals she won't campaign against Biden Hillicon Valley: QAnon scores wins, creating GOP problem | Supreme Court upholds regulation banning robocalls to cellphones | Foreign hackers take aim at homebound Americans | Uber acquires Postmates MORE and his subsequent confirmation to the high court to rally conservative voters.

The brawl over Kavanaugh’s confirmation only began unfolding as campaigns were closing out their books for the third fundraising quarter.

It remains unclear whether that fight will prompt the kind of cash infusion for Republican candidates that they need to close the gap with their Democratic opponents.

While all eyes are on the midterm elections, Trump’s campaign still has its sights set on 2020.

Between July and the end of September, the president’s campaign committees brought in more than $18 million, bringing its total raised this year to more than $100 million, according to a filing submitted Monday.

-- Updated at 5:30 p.m.