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 MastWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way House lawmakers urge adoption of UN report's recommendations on battling anti-Semitism Democrats launch bilingual ad campaign off drug pricing bill 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 CarbajalLawmakers with first-hand experience using food stamps call on Trump not to cut program House Democrat: 'Trump needs to give more consideration to the safety of our troops' Lawmakers react, predict Trump's next move 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 Health Care: Officials confirm 34 total coronavirus cases in US | ObamaCare favorability hits highest level in poll | McSally unveils bill to lower drug prices amid tough campaign McSally unveils bill to lower drug prices amid tough campaign Trump seeks to boost vulnerable GOP senator with Colorado rally MORE (R), for example, Democrat Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickEleventh Democratic presidential debate to be held in Phoenix Arizona Democrat to get treatment for alcohol dependence after suffering fall House holds moment of silence to mark anniversary of 2011 Tucson shooting 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-LehtinenEx-Rep. Frelinghuysen joins law and lobby firm Veronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address Ex-Rep. Duffy to join lobbying firm BGR 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 HeitkampSusan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same 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 CramerTrump Fed nominee stirs controversy ahead of hearing Senators, bruised by impeachment, hunt for deals Plan to probe Bidens sparks GOP divisions 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 RosenSchumer reminds colleagues to respect decorum at State of the Union speech Senate confirms Trump's 50th circuit judge, despite 'not qualified' rating Hillicon Valley: Facebook to remove mentions of potential whistleblower's name | House Dems demand FCC action over leak of location data | Dem presses regulators to secure health care data 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 ClintonRussian interference reports rock Capitol Hill Judge dismisses Nunes' lawsuit against Fusion GPS The Hill's Campaign Report: What to watch for in Nevada 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 CruzPompeo to speak to influential conservative group in Iowa Top National Security Council aide moved to Energy Department role Ted Cruz takes aim at Alabama vasectomy bill: 'Yikes' 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 McCaskillDemocrats criticize Medal of Freedom for Limbaugh as 'slap in the face' Kansas City, Kan., responds to Trump tweet: We root for the Chiefs, too Trump mocked for Super Bowl tweet confusing Missouri for Kansas 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 DonnellyGinsburg health scare raises prospect of election year Supreme Court battle Watchdog accuses pro-Kavanaugh group of sending illegal robotexts in 2018 Lobbying world 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 TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration 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 KavanaughNikki Haley hires Heritage Action chief to run her policy group Susan Collins in statistical tie with Democratic challenger: poll A disgraced Senate and president have no business confirming judges 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.