That Democrats are outraising Republicans across the board this mid-term election cycle, including in the House races, is something we haven’t seen since 2010. They are also heavily favored by individual donors — pulling in three times as much money from individuals in Senate races than Republicans. This is also shaping up to be one of the most expensive mid-term elections on the books.
At this point, with 13 states still to hold primaries, the Democrats have raised $574.8 million for current candidates. That compares with $398.8 million for Republicans. And that number should climb as we get closer to the general election and people and PACs put more money behind the horses they want to see win the race.
Right now, there are 567 Democrat candidates for House seats who have raised $337.7 million. That compares with 411 Republican candidates who have raised $300.1 million. Democrats have pulled in $83.4 million from PACs, compared with the $116 million Republican House candidates have gotten so far. But individual donors are heavily favoring Democrats this election cycle. For House races, Democrats have received about $221 million from individual donors. Republican candidates have received $146.3 million, according to Federal Election Commission data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Democratic candidate Jonathon Ossoff raised the most of any candidate at $30.4 million only to lose to Republican challenger Karen Handel, who raised $7.4 million, in a special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.
For Senate candidates, 39 Democrats have raised $237.1 million. On the Republican side, 46 candidates have raised $98.7 million. Democrats have pulled in more donations from PACs and individual donors. They have received $31.8 million from PACs, compared with $12.1 million for Republicans. But they have raised about three times the amount from individual donors as their Republican counterparts, at $181.8 million to the GOP’s $52.3 million.
Incumbent Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., had raised the most of any Senate candidate so far at $26.9 million, according to a filing at the end of March and based on the most current election commission data.
Looking back at 2010, when Republicans “shellacked” the Democrats, as former President Barack Obama put it at the time, the fundraising numbers looked like what we are seeing now, with the edge going to the Republicans. But those numbers account for the full election cycle right up through the election in November. We’re in early July. In 2010, the Democrats had 391 House candidates who raised a total of $474.2 million; $190.3 million from PACs and $263 million from individual donors. The Republicans had 414 candidates who raised a total of $461.2 million; $128.4 million from PACs and $289.6 million from individuals, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
On the Senate side, the Democrats had 34 candidates who raised $224.9 million; $37.1 million from PACs and $166.1 million from individuals. There were 38 Republican candidates who raised a total of $347.2 million; roughly $40 million from PACs and $210 million from individuals. The Republicans took back control of the House and Senate that election and have held control since.
Look at the numbers again and compare where we are now — four long campaigning months away from Election Day – to the 2010 numbers and consider just how expensive this year could be for a mid-term cycle.