May 26, 2019

The Democrats’ Cash Tsunami

“Nancy Pelosi pledged Tuesday night that the new Democratic House will deliver campaign-finance reform to “drain the swamp of dark-interest money in our elections.” That’s a little rich. Mrs. Pelosi’s second run at Speaker comes thanks in large part to a green wave of cash that Democrats surfed to political victory.

Democratic House candidates this cycle raised $951 million as of Oct. 17, the most recent reporting cutoff, according to figures from That’s nearly 50% more than Republicans. Forty-five percent of donations to these Democratic campaigns came from out of state, compared with 34% for the GOP. Of the 34 red districts at last count that flipped blue Tuesday, the Democrat outraised the Republican in all but seven.

Money isn’t everything, but this cash advantage doubtless helped in places where a Democrat narrowly knocked off a Republican incumbent. Virginia’s Congressman Dave Brat, who lost by 1.8 points, was outraised by $3.2 million. For New York’s Congressman John Faso, it was 2.9 points and $4.2 million. For New Jersey’s Congressman Leonard Lance, 3.4 points and $2.9 million. The list goes on.

What about outside spending? Republicans got trounced there, too. In California’s 25th District, Congressman Steve Knight is trailing by 2.6 points—no winner yet declared—and Democratic groups spent $5.8 million more than their GOP counterparts. In Michigan’s Eighth, where Congressman Mike Bishop lost by 3.8 points, the spending difference was $2.6 million. For Colorado’s Congressman Mike Coffman, it was 10.3 points and $4.7 million.”

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