Traditionally blue states appear to have several seats up for grabs after redistricting handed Republicans wins in places like New York. And Democrats are going on offense in California, where they enjoy broad popularity and view the handful of Republicans not named Kevin McCarthy as prime targets.
Here is what the most recent fundraising figures say about key states and races for 2024.
Republicans won several swing districts in the Empire State in 2022, and now they have to play defense as the GOP tries to hold its razor-thin majority in the House. Democrats have a fundraising edge over Republicans in the seven districts that aren’t firmly in the hands of one party or the other, making the path to victory much easier.
Rep. Pat Ryan (D-NY), the only Democrat being targeted by the GOP in New York, raised more than $602,000 in the third quarter and has $1.7 million in cash on hand. His only declared major GOP challenger, Alison Esposito, entered the race earlier this month and does not have to file a campaign finance report until the next quarter.
Among the six Republican incumbents being targeted by the Democrats, three of them were out-fundraised by Democratic opponents. Reps. George Santos (R-NY), Mike Lawler (R-NY), and Marc Molinaro (R-NY) had lower fundraising numbers than their opponents, but Lawler and Molinaro still have more cash on hand than their opponents.
“What better way for vulnerable New York Republicans to spend their day than to sit and stew on their fundraising numbers while traveling back to their disordered, Speaker-less House,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokeswoman Ellie Dougherty said in a statement on Monday.
Reps. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY) and Brandon Williams (R-NY) each narrowly out-fundraised their opponents, while Rep. Nick LaLota (R-NY) had a significant fundraising advantage over his opponents.
In the Golden State, Republicans are targeting three seats and Democrats are trying to flip seven. Republicans had a better third quarter in terms of fundraising and looked well positioned in the target seats.
Reps. Kevin Kiley (R-CA), John Duarte (R-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), Mike Garcia (R-CA), Young Kim (R-CA), and Michelle Park Steel (R-CA) each out-fundraised their Democratic opponents in the third quarter. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) was narrowly out-fundraised but reported more cash on hand than his Democratic opponent.
On the Democratic side, Rep. Josh Harder (D-CA) out-fundraised his Republican challengers, but it’s not all good news for Democrats. In California’s 47th Congressional District, Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) is not running for reelection because she’s facing off with Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) in one of the most-watched Senate races of the cycle as the crowded field vies to replace Senate legend Dianne Feinstein, who died last month. Republican Scott Baugh out-fundraised the top two Democratic candidates in the race for the open seat.
The coastal, Southern California seat has been safely in Democratic hands since then-Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA) was redistricted in 2002 and then-Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) waltzed to a 26-point victory. Porter, a prodigious fundraiser and media darling, crushed Baugh in the 2022 jungle primary but only won the general election against him by 3 points five months later.
Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) was also out-fundraised by Republican Matt Gunderson in the third quarter, but Levin did finish the quarter with more cash on hand.
Others battleground seats
In competitive seats as rated by the Cook Political Report, the GOP had a fundraising edge over the Democrats, according to NBC News. Republican candidates in battleground districts raised $553,000 on average in the third quarter, compared to the average of $435,000 being raised by Democratic candidates during that same time. The report also found that four Republicans in competitive districts raised more than $1 million, while no Democrats in those districts were able to raise more than $1 million.
“House Republicans continued their fundraising bonanza this quarter as members continue to put their campaigns in a position that allows for growing the majority,” National Republican Congressional Committee national press secretary Will Reinert said in a statement about the fundraising numbers.
There were outliers to the GOP’s strong fundraising performance in competitive districts, including Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO). Boebert was out-fundraised by Democratic challenger Adam Frisch, with Boebert raising roughly $854,000 compared to Frisch’s $3.4 million.
Shortly after the reporting deadline for the third quarter, two Democrats who were out-fundraised by Republican challengers, Reps. Dina Titus (D-NV) and Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), were placed on the DCCC’s front-line program for vulnerable Democratic incumbents.
Democrats held the overall advantage in fundraising for the third quarter, with the DCCC reporting it had raised $26 million and ended the quarter with $44 million cash on hand. DCCC Chairwoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) said the strong fundraising numbers for the campaign wing of the party provide a contrast to the “dysfunction” of the GOP-led House of Representatives.
“House Republicans continue to demonstrate that they are utterly incapable of governing responsibly and delivering for the American people. While the House is paralyzed due to Republican dysfunction, voters are seeing how unserious Republicans are and they are eager for a change,” DelBene said in a statement. “Our united House Democratic Caucus, led by Leader Jeffries, continues to build momentum towards taking back the majority and getting the House back to work to support the middle class and grow our economy.”
Republicans, despite being out-fundraised by Democrats, touted their fundraising totals as being the “best presidential cycle off-year Q3 and best presidential cycle off-year September” in the history of the NRCC. The campaign arm of the GOP reported $18.5 million raised in the third quarter and $36.1 million cash on hand at the end of the quarter.
“Democrats made life more expensive and dangerous for everyday Americans — they are completely fed up with these policies and they are desperate for relief,” NRCC Chairman Richard Hudson (R-NC) said in a statement. “The NRCC is capitalizing on this enthusiasm, sprinting to the on-year with record-breaking fundraising to grow our House majority.”
Republicans hold a 221-212 majority in the House of Representatives, which they won in the 2022 midterm elections. However, Republicans have found it difficult to govern with such a thin majority. And the problems have gotten worse in the last two weeks, with the conference facing significant challenges in electing and maintaining a House speaker.
Since the historic election of 1994, when Republicans flipped control of the House for the first time in 50 years, a contested chamber has been the norm. Control of the House has changed hands four times in the last three decades. Election Day next year is scheduled for Nov. 5, 2024.