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 ComstockDems win Virginia state Senate special election Dem rep asks for asks for pay to be withheld during shutdown New Dem lawmaker hangs trans flag outside office on Capitol Hill 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 YoderYoder, Messer land on K Street Bold, bipartisan action on child care will win plenty of friends Pompeo seen as top recruit for Kansas Senate seat 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 MastFlorida congressman welcomes his fourth child House Dems make gun control action an early priority 3 combat veterans unite on first day of new Congress: '5 eyes. 5 arms. 4 legs. All American.' 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 CarbajalDems introduce bills to block offshore drilling Both sides bullish as Pelosi's Speaker fight heats up 14 House Dems vow to withhold Speaker votes over rule reforms 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 McSallyOvernight Defense: Trump faces blowback over report he discussed leaving NATO | Pentagon extends mission on border | Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions 116th Congress breaks records for women, minority lawmakers MORE (R), for example, Democrat Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickHispanic Caucus sets red lines on DHS spending bill Dem women rally behind Pelosi Arizona New Members 2019 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-LehtinenYoder, Messer land on K Street Ex-GOP lawmaker from Washington joins lobbying firm Black Caucus sees power grow with new Democratic majority 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 HeitkampEPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks 2020 Election: Democrats can’t afford to ignore their Israel problem Hirono will donate salary earned during government shutdown 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 CramerHopes fade for bipartisan bills in age of confrontation GOP senators propose bill to pay 'excepted' workers during shutdown Senators say questions remain on Trump strategy in Syria after briefing 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 RosenInflux of women in Congress can improve women’s retirement security Overnight Health Care: DOJ seeks extension in ObamaCare lawsuit due to shutdown | Poll finds voters oppose court ruling against health law Press: White House not only for white males MORE (D) brought in $7 million in the third fundraising quarter, while incumbent Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerTrump’s shifting Cabinet to introduce new faces Trump's most memorable insults and nicknames of 2018 Progressive strategist says changing demographics will help Dems 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 ClintonGillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert Former PepsiCo CEO being considered for World Bank chief post: report Live coverage: Trump AG pick grilled on Mueller probe at confirmation hearing 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 Cruz5 takeaways from Barr’s testimony Republicans seek to temper fallout from latest Russia bombshells Cruz says Americans outside Beltway unconcerned with Mueller investigation 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 McCaskillThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump AG pick Barr grilled at hearing | Judge rules against census citizenship question | McConnell blocks second House bill to reopen government Ex-Sen. McCaskill joins NBC, MSNBC Some Senate Dems see Ocasio-Cortez as weak spokeswoman for party 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 DonnellyEPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks Some Senate Dems see Ocasio-Cortez as weak spokeswoman for party Senate approves funding bill, preventing partial government shutdown 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 TrumpVeterans groups demand end to shutdown: 'Get your act together' Brown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Pence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’ 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 Kavanaugh5 takeaways from Barr’s testimony MSNBC anchor speculates Trump has something 'pretty extreme' on Graham Five things to watch during Barr’s confirmation hearing 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.