Democratic House candidates in competitive districts are falling behind their GOP rivals in fundraising battles as the midterms approach, forcing the party into tough decisions about which seats to throw their remaining resources behind.
‘If Biden won by double digits, we ought to be able to either win or hold that district,’ Rep. Gerry Connolly D-Va., said of Democrats’ fundraising struggles according to a Friday report in Politico. ‘But we gotta have the resources.’
Connolly’s comments come as Democrats have struggled to prioritize tough races across the country, with some candidates in winnable races not getting a funding boost from Democratic PACs who are falling behind in fundraising.
Republicans looking to expand the map have targeted the seat of retiring Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., who won reelection in 2020 by a double-digit margin but has seen her Democratic replacement Kristen Engle all but abandoned by fundraisers.
‘I know with every bone in my body that Engel will win this district if we can get DCCC investing sooner,’ Kirkpatrick said of the race, according to Politico. ‘I understand the impossible decisions they have to make each cycle but coming in late and undervaluing this race is a huge mistake. This is a seat we keep blue if we go big now.’
Kirkpatrick’s frustration came after it was revealed that Republicans have poured $1.3 million behind GOP hopeful Juan Ciscomani in the race to replace her in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District, sensing an opportunity to flip the seat red.
While Republicans have looked to aggressively expand the map and target Democratic incumbents, National Democratic PACs have stopped running TV ads in many Republican-controlled districts.
‘The number one factor here is money. If we had more money, yeah, I’d feel much better about a bunch of places. But of course, there are other things. It’s not the be-all, end-all,’ Tim Persico, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told Politico.
Meanwhile, Republican-aligned PACs have been setting fundraising records and pouring millions into competitive races, including bids to target seats currently held by Democrats.
‘Expanding the map has been a key plank of our strategy this cycle,’ said Dan Conston, who leads Republicans’ top super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund. ‘We’re able to seriously contest traditional Democrat-leaning seats and that has forced Democrats into tough decisions about who to cut off and who they can afford to contest.’