fundraising

Dollar dominance: Average vulnerable House Democrat starts 2020 with $1.8 million
Eye-popping numbers and other takeaways from fourth quarter

New York Rep. Max Rose, left, and Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin raised the most among vulnerable House Democrats in the latest fundraising quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nine months out from Election Day, the latest fundraising reports provide new clues about both parties’ prospects in the battles for the House and Senate. 

In the fight for the House, vulnerable Democrats continued to raise eye-popping numbers as their party tries to hold on to its majority. Republican leaders last week sounded the alarm about their candidates’ fundraising, and the latest reports show why.

Impeachment trial takes vulnerable senators off the campaign trail, too
Some senators are refraining from sending fundraising emails

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones walks to the Senate chamber Wednesday before the start of the impeachment trial. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Doug Jones’ campaign is holding an event Friday, but the Alabama Democrat won’t be there. Instead, Valerie Jarrett, an adviser to former President Barack Obama, is hosting the forum on women in leadership in Birmingham.

Jones, the most vulnerable senator in 2020, will be in the Senate chamber for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, alternating between blue and red felt-tipped pens as he takes notes on opening arguments. Sitting with him will be other colleagues who face competitive races, either in November or sooner in party primaries.

Super PACs after 10 years: Often maligned but heavily used
Democrats may slam Citizens United, but they benefit from the PACs the decision unleashed

A man demonstrates against super PACs in front of the Supreme Court in January 2012 to mark the second anniversary of the Citizens United decision, which contributed to the rise of super PACs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The reelection campaign of Rep. Angie Craig, a first-term Minnesota Democrat, kicked off 2020 with an email plea to supporters: “We’ve got to overturn Citizens United.”

Noting the 10 years since the pivotal Jan. 21, 2010, Supreme Court decision, which helped spur along super PACs, the Craig campaign urged people to show their allegiance to the cause by providing their email addresses. Later, would-be donors were asked to chip in money for her campaign, even just $15.  

Presidential field narrows again as Castro suspends campaign
Still more than a dozen Democrats competing for nomination to challenge Trump

Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro was introduced by Republican Sen. John Cornyn, a fellow Texan, at a 2014 hearing on his nomination to be secretary of Housing and Urban Development in President Barack Obama’s administration. Castro suspended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, and the deadline to file to run to challenge Cornyn has passed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro announced Thursday that he is suspending his presidential campaign. But the Democratic primary field remains crowded, with 14 candidates still in the race.

“I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together,” Castro said in a tweet Thursday morning. “I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts — I hope you’ll join me in that fight.”

Ethics office report says Trahan may have concealed loans by husband from FEC
Office of Congressional Ethics details spouse contributions to campaign

Rep. Lori Trahan, D-Mass., has a matter that continues to be looked at by the House Ethics Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There is “substantial reason” to believe Rep. Lori Trahan’s campaign accepted contributions that exceeded federal limits and that she failed to properly disclose required information, according to an Office of Congressional Ethics report released Tuesday. 

This matter began with complaints to the OCE about late injections of hundreds of thousands of dollars to Trahan’s campaign, prompting questions about where the funds originated. Trahan prevailed in a crowded 10-person Democratic primary in 2018; she loaned her campaign $300,000 from a joint checking account she shares with her husband en route to the win. 

North Carolina’s George Holding left with few options for 2020
This is the second time redistricting has altered GOP congressman’s district

North Carolina Rep. George Holding’s new district lines are less favorable to Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

North Carolina Rep. George Holding has been here before, facing a district that doesn’t look like the one he currently represents. 

But unlike in 2016, when court-mandated redistricting moved his seat across the state and he choose to run in a different district closer to home, the partisan composition of his current 2nd District has now changed significantly, becoming virtually unwinnable for a Republican. 

Kamala Harris drops out of 2020 presidential race
Harris had been lagging in the polls and struggling to gain traction

California Sen. Kamala Harris, seen in Iowa this summer, is ending her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.  (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Sen. Kamala Harris announced Tuesday that she is suspending her presidential campaign, citing a lack of financial resources. 

“I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life,” Harris wrote in a letter to supporters Tuesday.  “It is with deep regret — but also with deep gratitude — that I am suspending my campaign today.”

Elise Stefanik’s rise tests new GOP fundraising platform WinRed
After initial concerns, Stefanik has been using WinRed to capitalize on newfound fame

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., has been in the spotlight as one of the Republicans’ strongest questioners during impeachment hearings. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

On Fox News Thursday night, Rep. Elise Stefanik made sure to tell viewers about a website where they could “step up” and donate to her campaign. After her appearance, the New York Republican announced she raised a staggering $500,000 in less than two hours.

Stefanik’s fundraising push is an early test of whether House Republicans, using a new online fundraising platform Stefanik once questioned, can capitalize on national attention to bring in campaign cash.

Campaigns look to capitalize on first impeachment hearings
Both parties used different strategies on the campaign trail

Campaigns sought to capitalize on national attention on Wednesday’s impeachment hearing that featured testimony by senior diplomats William Taylor, center, and George Kent, right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Loath to waste a national spotlight, campaigns on Wednesday sought to take advantage of the first public impeachment hearing in two decades, though groups pushing Republicans seemed more willing to urge angry voters to contribute as the hearing unfolded while Democrats were more low-key.

War rooms for the Democratic and Republican national committees each issued dueling fact checks as the House Intelligence panel began public hearings into whether President Donald Trump committed an impeachable offense by withholding military aid while pressing Ukraine to investigate a chief political opponent. But the similarities between the parties’ approaches stopped there.

Some Democrats see political system overhaul as winning 2020 issue
Bill to revamp campaign finance and voting passed House early, then stalled in Senate

Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., talks with the media after votes on Capitol Hill in September. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If Rep. Max Rose’s voters expected the freshman lawmaker from Staten Island, New York, to quiet down this election cycle about a major overhaul of the nation’s political system, they were mistaken.

It was a centerpiece of the Democrat’s campaign-trail mantra in 2018. And now, as one of the most vulnerable incumbents in Congress, he’s not stopping. Neither are many of his similarly situated colleagues.