Democrats are ready to defend their 2018 House gains in Trump districts and they have the resources to win even more in 2020.
Democrats are building a financial bulwark around their House majority that’s going to be tough for Republicans to breach in 2020.
Thirty-three of the 44 most vulnerable House Democrats have stashed an impressive $1 million or more in the bank well before the election year even begins. And their fundraising pace is not slowing down as they gear up to defend the chamber.
Federal Election Commission reports filed this week illustrate Democrats’ formidable advantage: The 44 Democrats in the most competitive seats banked a collective $59 million so far. Nearly 30 raised $500,000 or more in the third quarter, according to a POLITICO analysis of the fundraising filings. And all but six of the so-called “frontliners” have at least half a million more banked than their challengers, if they have any challenger at all.
“Last cycle, there were a lot of people talking about this massive Democratic online fundraising as if it was somewhat of an aberration," said Cam Savage, a veteran GOP operative. "I think it’s the new normal.”
The GOP is struggling to adapt to a changing landscape; They can no longer dismiss the strong fundraising as an anomaly when it has remained steady throughout the first three quarters of 2019. And while operatives insist the disparity is not insurmountable, Democrats have undoubtedly amassed a head start in a battle that will be waged in suburban districts that lie in the most expensive media markets in the country.
For comparison, only nine the 30 Republican incumbents who lost reelection last November had more than $1 million in the bank after the third quarter of 2017.
Still, top Republican strategists remain undaunted, citing the potential for impeachment backlash to motivate voters and lessen the potency of their opponents’ cash advantage. They acknowledged the Democratic cash influx may continue but brushed aside concerns it would derail their shot at taking back the House.
“Their base is fired up, and ActBlue has done a brilliant job. But I think we’re going to close that gap,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a former National Republican Congressional Committee chairman. “People know it’s going to be a very consequential election so there’s going to be plenty of money moved behind our challengers.”
The GOP isn't giving up of course, but it's about time that Democrats realized that they didn't have to reinvent the wheel every two years either. And impeachment is going to hurt Trump in the suburbs, not the Dems.
It's starting to come together for Team Blue here.