FEC reports force new races to the fore

It’s a four-times-yearly ritual in House campaigns: Wait for the quarterly fundraising reports to roll in, and reevaluate the races accordingly.

It’s still very early, but the second-quarter reports filed Wednesday will affect that next 16 months in a big way. And many races have been recast because of the numbers posted this week.

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The Hill looks at the top 10 races that took on a new identity thanks to the fundraising reports:

CA-3 – “Fundraising is 90 percent mental – the other half is physical”

Okay, it wasn’t Yogi Berra, but a Bera definitely hit one out of the park with his report Wednesday. While more attention has been paid to a couple other candidates running against Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), physician Ami BeraAmerish (Ami) Babulal BeraSeniors deserve access to Health Savings Accounts Democratic lawmakers support Bustos after DCCC resignations Overnight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran MORE (D) shocked everyone in the area by raising one of the top totals in the country for a challenger --  $288,000. The number came out of nowhere, and Bera is now on the map.

CA-45 and 47 – Two-for-one in the competitive column


Republicans have tried hard to put Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s (D-Calif.) seat on the map, and Democrats have attempted the same with Rep. Mary Bono Mack’s (R-Calif.) nearby district. Both have done so now, after Assemblyman Van Tran (R) outraised Sanchez (sparking renewed rumors of a Sanchez statewide run) and Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet outraised Bono Mack. It’s safe to put these seats in the realm of possibility now.

HI-1 – What are Djou doing?

Along the same lines as Sanchez and Bono Mack, Rep. Neil Abercrombie’s (D-Hawaii) open seat is starting to look competitive. Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou’s (R) $76,000 raised isn’t big money for a mainlander, but in the middle of the Pacific, it’s just fine. It’s also a threefold increase over his first-quarter haul, and just slightly less than a former congressman, Ed Case (D), raised in his first fundraising quarter, which is typically low-hanging fruit time.

IN-5 Primary pecking order set

Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) might have thought he would slide through to reelection thanks to a crowded primary field, but former state Rep. Luke Messer (R) laid a marker in the second quarter. Messer outraised Burton and the whole primary field with his $205,000 raised. A similar thing happened in Rep. Bob Inglis’s (R-S.C.) district, where Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyRising star Ratcliffe faces battle to become Trump's intel chief Cummings announces expansion of Oversight panel's White House personal email probe, citing stonewalling Pelosi says it's up to GOP to address sexual assault allegation against Trump MORE’s (R) total nearly matched Inglis and far outpaced all other primary opponents.

LA-2 Cao upgrades himself


New Orleans-based Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La.) began the cycle as a poorly funded underdog for reelection, and he did little to improve that with a measly $143,000 pull in the first quarter. With his $365,000 performance in the second quarter, though, he has gone from poorly funded underdog to a well-funded endangered incumbent.
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MI-9 Badday for Welday


Despite entering the race in mid-April, former congressional aide Paul Welday (R) raised less than $4,000, to go along with his $100,000 loan to his campaign. That wouldn’t be so bad if freshman Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) didn’t turn in one of the best quarters in the House. But he did. Peters’s $471,000 raised means Welday better be prepared to spend a lot of his own money or better start raising some quickly.

MN-6 Moving beyond Tinklenberg

One of the most curious moves of the cycle came when 2008 Democratic nominee El Tinklenberg contributed $250,000 of his leftover campaign funds to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). After the second quarter, he might be advised to ask for that money back. He was outraised by physician Maureen Reed (D) $232,000 to $55,000 and already has less cash than she does – after ending last year’s campaign with nearly $500,000 leftover! Now state Sen. Tarryl Clark (D) is running for the seat, too. The odds say Tinklenberg won’t be the nominee against Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannKlobuchar urges CNN town hall audience: 'That's when you guys are supposed to cheer, OK?' Michele Bachmann praises Trump: Americans will 'never see a more godly, biblical president' Will Biden lead a 'return to normalcy' in 2020? MORE (R-Minn.) again in 2010.

OR-4 Not Leiken his campaign launch

Springfield Mayor Sid Leiken (R) began as a highly touted long shot for Rep. Peter DeFazio’s (D) seat. After coming under investigation for shoddy state campaign finance filings, his federal filing – which showed an anemic $33,000 raised – only hurt his stock further. If DeFazio runs for governor, all bets are off, but this race is off the radar for now.

PA-6 Pike’s peak

Former Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board writer Doug Pike (D) turned in the biggest quarter of any challenger and topped all but a few incumbents, too, with his $664,000. And it just happened to come the same week that Rep. Jim GerlachJames (Jim) Gerlach2018 midterms: The blue wave or a red dawn? Pa. GOP 'disappointed' by rep retiring after filing deadline Pennsylvania Republican Costello won't seek reelection MORE (R-Pa.) announced he would vacate the swing district seat to run for governor. Advantage: Democrats.

IN-8 The Hostettler curse


Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) defeated a notoriously lazy fundraiser in 2006 in Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.), and it appears to have rubbed off on him a bit. Through half the year, Ellsworth has raised less than $120,000. That’s after pulling more than half a million dollars in the first six months of 2007. And he represents a district that went for Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Biden's debate performance renews questions of health At debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR MORE (R-Ariz.) by four points in 2008. Ellsworth isn’t at the top of anybody’s list of the most vulnerable members of Congress, but there seems to be an opening here for the right GOP candidate.