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 ComstockK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers GOP lawmaker introduces bill to stop revolving door Ex-lawmakers face new scrutiny over lobbying 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 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) 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 MastGOP launches anti-BDS discharge petition Conserving tiny forage fish, the heroes of our shared ocean ecosystem Conservation remains a core conservative principle 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 CarbajalThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems raise stakes with talk of 'constitutional crisis' House Dem vets press McConnell on emergency declaration Dem rep 'surprised' more Republicans didn't vote to block Trump emergency declaration 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 officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds Trump taps new Air Force secretary Bolton emerges as flashpoint in GOP debate on Iran MORE (R), for example, Democrat Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickArizona Dems ask DHS to appoint 'crisis coordinator' at border Democrats introduce bill to let 'Dreamers' work for Congress Push for ‘Medicare for all’ worries centrist Dems 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-LehtinenK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers Ex-GOP Rep. Denham heads to lobbying firm K Street boom extends under Trump, House Dems 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 HeitkampOn The Money: Stocks sink on Trump tariff threat | GOP caught off guard by new trade turmoil | Federal deficit grew 38 percent this fiscal year | Banks avoid taking position in Trump, Dem subpoena fight Fight over Trump's new NAFTA hits key stretch Former senators launching effort to help Dems win rural votes 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 CramerThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Bolton emerges as flashpoint in GOP debate on Iran Trump's immigration push faces Capitol Hill buzzsaw 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 RosenLawmakers introduce legislation to improve cyber workforce funding Dem lawmakers accuse DHS, HHS of giving them misleading information on family separations This week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report MORE (D) brought in $7 million in the third fundraising quarter, while incumbent Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary 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 ClintonHarris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests 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 CruzJim Carrey fires back at 'Joe McCarthy wanna-be' Cruz Hillicon Valley: Google delays cutting off Huawei | GOP senators split over breaking up big tech | Report finds DNC lagging behind RNC on cybersecurity GOP senators split over antitrust remedies for big tech 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 McCaskillLobbying world Big Dem names show little interest in Senate Gillibrand, Grassley reintroduce campus sexual assault bill 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 DonnellyK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers Obama honors 'American statesman' Richard Lugar Former GOP senator Richard Lugar dies at 87 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 TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 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 KavanaughGraham urges Trump not to abandon infrastructure talks with Democrats 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Maker of 'F*ck Trump' lipstick vows to donate proceeds to reproductive rights groups 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.