- Democratic congressional candidates are raising unprecedented funds for their 2018 bids, beating their Republican rivals in nearly three dozen GOP-held districts across the country.
- While it’s still too early to understand how this will affect the 2018 House races, the historic number of Democrats running and the amount of cash they’re bringing in is making Republicans nervous.
Democratic congressional candidates are raising unprecedented funds for their 2018 bids, outpacing their Republican rivals and provoking concern among GOP operatives, according to a new Politico report.
More than four times as many Democrats are running for House seats in 2018 than were in 2016 and 2014 and at least 162 of them are running in 62 GOP-controlled districts and have each raised over $US100,000 in 2017.
Almost three dozen GOP incumbents — some of them long-serving — are facing Democratic challengers who outraised them in the third quarter of 2017. Some Republicans who have been popular among their constituents for decades are suddenly facing multiple Democratic opponents who have already raised more than anyone the incumbent has ever run against.
“That’s something that should get every Republican’s attention in Washington,” Republican strategist Jason Roe told Politico. “These first-timers are printing money.”
Meanwhile, GOP incumbents are also facing threats from former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and other ultra-conservative activists, who have pledged to support Republican challengers in primaries across the country.
Bannon, who has promised to primary every Republican incumbent running for Senate in 2018, is backed by the Mercer family, billionaire donors who supported President Donald Trump’s 2016 run. Other prominent benefactors are also reportedly defecting from more establishment GOP operatives and candidates.
These highly unusual circumstances can likely be attributed, at least in part, to the wave of political engagement among Democrats following Trump’s election last year. Trump’s low poll numbers are also likely contributing to a dip in donations to GOP candidates.
But Democrats are also wary of the effects of gerrymandering led by GOP legislatures across the country.
“It’s way too early to start measuring the drapes,” former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee executive director Kelly Ward, who is now at the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, told Politico. “You need a tsunami, not just a wave, to overcome how badly the [district] lines are broken.”
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