House Democrats believe they’re ready to go on the offense this November and drastically reduce, if not completely wipe out, the GOP’s historic majority in the chamber.
The Washington Post reports that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $24.9 million in the first quarter of 2016, its best first quarter fundraising total ever. The campaign arm raised $11.3 million, another record haul, in March alone.
President Obama helped bring in some of the loot, $4.4 million, while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) raised $14.2 million for the DCCC, which has $44 million in its bank account, double the amount it had at this time in 2012.
A year ago, even the most experienced Democratic strategists and pollsters opined that the House wouldn’t be in play, let alone competitive, thanks to congressional redistricting efforts in Republican-controlled state legislatures since 2010.
That point-of-view has changed over the last few months as a slew of public opinion polls suggest that having Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) at the top of the ticket could prompt a Democratic tsunami down the ballot, putting the Senate, and potentially the House, up for grabs.
Despite being flush with cash, it won’t be easy for Democrats. The party would need to pick up 30 seats to regain the majority and only 24 are deemed “vulnerable” by The Cook Political Report.
Further complicating a potential push is that Dems have failed to land top-tier recruits in districts that very well might flip with Trump or Cruz as the GOP standard-bearer. And Republicans aren’t about to hand over the reins without a fight.
The day after he categorically took himself out of contention to be drafted as the GOP’s presidential nominee, House Speaker Paul Ryan (WI) reported raising $17.2 million in the first three months of the year, over $11 million of which was funneled to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s coffers.
The committee had $39 million in the bank at the end of February and Republican leaders aren’t about to take their foot off the gas.
In fact, the GOP has sent out another fundraising e-mail that quoted Ryan warning “our majority is in serious jeopardy.”
The fundraising numbers foreshadow that 2016, already expected to break spending records for the presidential race and in the battle for the Senate, is only going to grow even more costly as Election Day draws closer.