House Republicans spent 2021 erasing Democrats’ fundraising advantage — now they are overtaking them.
New campaign finance reports this week paint an encouraging picture of the GOP’s chances of recapturing the House majority. Buoyed by small-dollar donors, their candidates are outraising Democrats in several key races and turning a favorable political environment into a cash windfall with just nine months until Election Day.
A telling statistic: At least 53 Republicans raised over $500,000 last quarter, compared to 38 Democratic candidates, according to a POLITICO analysis of Federal Election Commission data. That’s an unfamiliar gap for House Democrats, who have long enjoyed a financial edge. But Republicans have been steadily gaining on them for months.
In the third quarter of 2021, a roughly equal number of candidates (48 Republicans and 45 Democrats) from each party cleared the half-million mark. That was already a sign of GOP momentum as President Joe Biden’s approval rating shrank. Back in the fourth quarter of 2019 — the same point in the last election cycle — some 60 Democrats raised more than $500,000, but only 27 Republicans did.
Republicans didn’t need a cash influx to pick up a dozen seats: In 2020, their candidates were outspent on TV and still managed to cut down the Democratic advantage in the House. Not all of those candidates who raised large sums last quarter are in competitive races, but the fact that they have tapped the online fundraising spigot is an ominous sign for the Democratic majority.