According to first quarter fundraising numbers from the Federal Election Commission, Republican candidates in Washington state's competitive House races are outraising their Democratic counterparts by approximately 2-to-1 in most cases.
Dino Rossi has raised more than $2 million in his bid for the open seat in the 8th District. That amount puts him second only to six-term incumbent Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who has pulled in $2.7 million so far, breaking a record for the most she's ever raised in a quarter. Jamie Herrera Beutler, who represents Washington's 3rd Congressional District, just passed the one million dollar mark, raising over $394,000 this quarter.
Meanwhile, Democrat Lisa Brown, who's taking on Rodgers in the 5th District, has scooped up $1.3 million. The fundraising leader in the 8th District, Kim Schrier, has taken in $1.1 million. Probably the Democrats' best shot in the 3rd district, Carolyn Long, has raised $279,556. But the fundraising leader in that race, businessman David Malcolm McDevitt, has over $425,000, over $400K of which comes from a personal loan.
These numbers suggest that both parties are on track to breaking fundraising records for House races in the state, but so far the Republicans are doing a better job.
Of course, it helps if your party is backed by a bunch of *checks Twitter for latest Trumpian throwback insult* slimeballs. Let's turn our attention to the money swirling around in the 8th District, the closest and most flippable race to Seattle.
According to FEC filing data, Koch Industries gave Rossi's campaign $10,000 this quarter. Koch-adjacent far right group Club for Growth PAC has earmarked $35,941 to date. Mike Pence's PAC, Great America Committee, coughed up $5,400 in the first quarter. NAA PAC, which represents the interests of landlords, gave $5,000. NBWA PAC, a group that represents beer distributors, turned their back on good drinking people and donated $5,000 to Rossi's campaign. Tesoro, a Texas oil company, spent $2,000, while Exxon Mobile gave $1,500.
As for the Democrats in the 8th District, Shannon Hader, a former manager of the CDC's HIV/TB unit and a self-professed favorite daughter of Auburn, put up some surprisingly large numbers. In the first quarter she raised nearly $143,000,* which includes money from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists PAC and the Jobs and Innovation Matter PAC. She also recently picked up an endorsement from the the Muslim Political Action Committee of OneAmerica Votes.
Toward the end of March this year she loaned her own campaign $300,000, raising her total to over $600,000, which puts her in second place among the Democratic candidates in terms of fundraising. Hader entered the race relatively late last fall, but with half a million dollars in the bank, she feels like she's caught up.
"I knew when I got into the race that my path was going to be non-traditional," she told me over the phone this morning, describing her large personal loan to the campaign as an act of showing commitment and "putting [her] own skin in the game." She says she's opened up a campaign office in Auburn and has launched a field program.
But Schrier, the pediatrician from Sammamish, maintains her substantial fundraising lead with a little over a million dollars raised. FEC reports show Schrier hauled in $483,879 of that money this quarter.
This morning, Schrier announced she has not and will not take cash from corporate PACs during the race, saying in a press release that there's "absolutely too much money in American politics today."
Former King County prosecutor Jason Rittereiser keeps on keeping on. He's raised over $594,000 so far, with $222,000 coming in this quarter.
Senator Maria Cantwell appears to be doing fine.
While crowded fields and tough districts are diluting fundraising efforts for the Democratic House candidates in Washington, things are looking a little better for Democratic candidates as a whole. Collectively, they "have a $10.5 million fundraising advantage over Republicans in the 25 most competitive races for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives," Reuters reports.
They'll have to keep up that momentum if they want to flip the House in 2018. Republicans plan to spend $250 million on a massive field operation designed to protect their majority from the anticipated blue wave. The AP calls it "the committee’s largest ground-game investment in any election season."
*Correction: I originally said Hader raised $300,000 in the first quarter, but that's not accurate. She's raised $300,000 so far, but only nearly $143,000 in the first quarter.