California Democrat candidates raised $21.6 million in a determined effort to pick-up seven highly contested GOP-held U.S House seats, versus $4.2 million raise by the Republicans.
The nonpartisan Center for Responsible Politics estimates that 2018 will be the most expensive midterm Congressional elections, with a record $5.2 billion in spending, due to an “astonishing spike in campaign donations.”
Democratic House candidates raised over $1.3 billion from individuals, compared to just $1 billion for Republicans. But Democrats spent $1 billion, compared to just $720 million spent by Republican House candidates.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Democrat first-time candidates challenging to turn seven vulnerable Republican-held California House seats, and potentially flipping control of the U.S. House, have ridden a financial “blue wave” to raise over five times what Republicans raised during the third quarter of 2018.
The biggest Democrat advantage was in California’s 50th congressional district, where incumbent Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter only raised $132,531 after being indicted in August for alleged personal use of campaign funds. The 29-year-old Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar raised $1.4 million, despite being identified by Israel’s Haaretz as the grandson of the architects of the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics massacre.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, only raised $3,154,899, compared to $4,417,483 by Democrat Fresno Deputy District Attorney Andrew Janz.
Los Angeles Times also reported that the average cash reserve for the seven Republican House candidates was about $652,000 at the end of the third quarter of 2018, versus an average of $1.2 million for their Democrat opponents.
But not everything is doom-and-gloomfor the targeted Republican House seats. The Center for Responsible Politics, based on Federal Election Commission campaign finance reports, revealed that Republicans led in national “outside spending,” with about $343 million through the third quarter, compared to $248 million for Democrats.
The center estimates that political action committees and other outside spending groups are on track for a midterm election record, with more than $618 million spent though September 30. That was up by almost 50 percent from the $421 million for the same period in 2014 — and a big chunk of that spending is expected to flow into the contested California House races.
Republicans, who are trying to defend the seven California House seats with a strong anti-tax message, received some great news on Wednesday, with just 20 days before the November 6 election. A poll by the San Diego Union-Tribune and several TV stations found that support for the “Proposition 6 Gas Tax Repeal” has vaulted to a 58-to-29 percent lead among likely voters, with just 13 percent of likely voters undecided.