The Slatest

New Fundraising Numbers Spell Trouble for House Republicans

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 17:  Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) talks to reporters following the weekly House Republican Conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol April 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. Ryan and fellow Republicans took note of Tax Day and used it to talk about their recently passed tax reform law.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) talks to reporters following the weekly House Republican Conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol April 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

There’s more good news for Democratic House candidates in Politico’s look at the latest filings from the FEC:

A whopping 43 House Republicans raised less money than Democratic challengers in the first three months of 2018 — nearly the same number of stragglers the GOP had at the end of last year, according to POLITICO’s analysis of the latest Federal Election Commission filings. An overlapping group of 16 Republican incumbents already have less cash on hand than Democratic challengers, up from the end of 2017, despite hopes that tax reform would open more donor wallets.

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The 16 incumbents with less cash on hand than their opponents include California congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who faces an array of Democratic and Republican challengers in the state’s jungle primary system, and Iowa congressman and quasi-white nationalist Steve King, who faces three Democratic opponents in the state’s reddest district. Politico’s Elena Schneider writes that the Congressional Leadership Fund and National Republican Congressional Committee will be wary of investing heavily in Republican candidates with underwhelming fundraising totals given the number of seats likely to be in play in November.

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Outgoing House speaker Paul Ryan is doing his part to reassure jittery members his departure won’t further dampen totals, as Real Clear Politics’ James Arkin reports:

Paul Ryan headlined three fundraisers for Republican congressional candidates in Washington Wednesday, a demonstration of strength a week after his surprise retirement announcement set off concerns about whether the speaker could continue his pace as the House GOP’s top fundraiser.

[…]The fundraisers came a day after Ryan assured the full GOP conference that his efforts wouldn’t diminish following his retirement announcement. Ryan has transferred $40 million to Republicans’ campaign committee this cycle, a record for a speaker, and has held 70 events for individual members, hauling in nearly $6 million directly to their campaigns.

But even if Ryan and other major fundraisers continue to bring in contributions as November draws closer, the overall picture for House Republicans is gloomy—the enthusiasm gap between the parties suggests the fundraising gap may widen still.

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