Challenger Democrats Outraising Republican Incumbents Ahead Of Midterms

Damir Mujezinovic

The race for the control of the House of Representatives is already in full motion. Candidates from both sides of the political spectrum began fundraising and campaigning long ago. Democrats seem to be far ahead of Republicans in this arena. According to new data recently published by the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit, nonpartisan research group, 14 Democratic challengers have outraised Republican incumbents so far.

In North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, Dan McCready, a Marine Corps veteran, is outraising Republican incumbent Robert Pittenger by almost $710,000. In California's 48th congressional district, Democrat Harley Rouda is outraising Republican Dana Rohrabacher by almost $326,000. In the race for New York's 19th congressional district, Antonio Delgado is outdoing John Faso by $295,000. In Virginia's 5th Congressional District, Roger Dean Huffstetler has raised nearly $650,000 more than Republican Tom Garrett.

One Democratic incumbent and two Republican incumbents are being outdone by members of their own parties.

In the race for New York's 16th Congressional District, challenger Jonathan Lewis is outdoing incumbent Eliot Engel by $30,000. Republican challenger Scott Dacey is outraising the incumbent party colleague Walter Jones, Jr. of North Carolina's 3rd Congressional District by $56,000. In Tennessee's 8th Congressional District, Republican David Kustoff is trailing his challenger, George Flinn, Jr. Flinn has managed to rase $333,000 more than Kustoff.

Outlets such as CNBC have predicted a "blue wave" in the 2018 midterms. Democrats are expected to sweep the midterm elections. Historically, however, GOP voters turn out more reliably during midterm elections than Democrats. According to CNBC, some reports show that Democrats need to win the popular vote by almost 11 percentage points to retake the House, which will not be an easy task. Commenting on the ideological struggle taking place within the Democratic Party, CNBC's John Iadarola wrote the following.

"Will the blue wave sweep into power another set of corporate friendly, establishment Democrats who will muddle their way spinelessly through a term or two in office before being inevitably swept back out of power? Or will a new generation of progressives come into office energized and ready to make good on the promise of the wave – that our leaders will finally deliver on the economy, health care, income inequality, the environment, and so many other vital areas?"

In the 2018 midterms, Republicans will aim to defend a narrow majority in the House, but Democrats need to win back just 24 seats to reclaim it. Republicans face the daunting task of having to defend empty seats. On April 11, Paul Ryan became the 38th House Republican to announce plans to retire or run for another office this year.