Daily Kos Elections is pleased to present our third quarterly fundraising charts of the 2020 election cycle for both the House and the Senate!
As always at this point in the cycle, we've included every race we expect to be competitive in next year's general elections as well as open seats in otherwise safe districts that feature primaries. We also list contests in which incumbents potentially face a credible primary challenge; members of Congress who might retire or run for higher office; and under-the-radar contests in which a candidate raised or self-funded an unexpectedly large sum.
Just as it was three months ago, the big takeaway remains that, despite some Democratic fears (and GOP hopes) that Team Blue's crowded presidential primary would divert donors from the congressional battlefield, the House class of 2018 is continuing to raise money at a pace that would have been unthinkable little more than two years ago.
The top fundraiser among vulnerable Democrats by far was California Rep. Katie Porter, who hauled in over $1 million and ended September with close to $2 million in the bank. Five more freshman Democrats in competitive seats raised over $700,000 for the quarter, as did sophomore Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who is defending a seat that Trump narrowly carried. An additional 19 Democrats who flipped seats last year also raised over $500,000 during the quarter.
Among nonincumbents, the top Democratic fundraiser was Texas' Gina Ortiz Jones, who raised a cool $1 million in her campaign to flip the open 23rd Congressional District. Not far behind was another Texan, Wendy Davis, who took in $939,000 for her bid against GOP freshman Rep. Chip Roy in the 21st District (Roy raised $573,000).
Last year, Democratic challengers managed to outraise many Republican incumbents―often quite dramatically. So far, not many Republican candidates have accomplished that in their efforts to unseat Democrats, though Team Red did have a few notable fundraisers.
Two Republicans looking to flip blue House seats raised more than $500,000 for the quarter. Over in California's 21st District, former Rep. David Valadao, who narrowly lost his seat last year, outpaced Democratic incumbent TJ Cox $539,000 to $398,000. In New Mexico's 2nd District, oil businesswoman Claire Chase, who raised considerably more than any other Republican in the primary, took in $511,000. However, freshman Democratic Rep. Xochitl Torres Small still outraised her by bringing in $588,000.
Of course, as we noted last quarter, we're comparing Democratic incumbents with Republican challengers, but that just reflects the reality of next year's battlefield: The GOP has to go on offense, so the races that will determine control of the House will take place in districts held by potentially vulnerable Democrats. If Republicans can't match resources with Democrats, they're going to have a very hard time taking the 19 districts that they need for a majority now that Justin Amash has become an independent. (Speaking of Amash, he raised $150,000 during his first quarter since leaving the GOP.)
Meanwhile, over in the Senate, Team Blue's Senate fundraising all-star was Kentucky's Amy McGrath, who outraised Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell $10.6 million to $2.2 million. The second-place spot went to Arizona's Mark Kelly, who outraised appointed Sen. Martha McSally $5.6 million to $3 million. The top GOP challenger, and the only one who outraised a Democratic incumbent, was Michigan's John James, who took in $3.1 million to Sen. Gary Peters' $2.5 million, though Peters still has a very large cash advantage.
There's a whole lot more to check out, and you'll want to bookmark our House and Senate charts.
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