At the end of January, Democratic CD-6 candidate Jason Crow made waves in the perennial pitched battle against incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Coffman after outraising Coffman in the last quarter of 2017–a solid performance in marked contrast to Coffman posting his worst quarterly number since 2011.
And as Vox reported last week, the headwinds Coffman is experiencing are not unique to his race:
Newly released data from the Federal Election Commission shows that at least 55 Democratic candidates in competitive House races are raising more than the Republican incumbents they’re challenging.
More than 80 Democrats running in Republican-held districts had at least $250,000 in cash on hand at the end of 2017, according to the FEC data. Even incumbents were struggling to raise as much as their challengers; more than a dozen Republican incumbents had less cash on hand than their Democratic opponents…
Obviously, 2017 was a very good year to be dramatizing donors’ wallets open for political donations on both sides. Both the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) had record fundraising years, but Vox reports that millions of dollars contributing to the GOP’s total on hand can’t be spent on elections. In reality, the Democratic advantage is considerable. As the 2018 season heats up, the NRCC’s support for Coffman will be crucial to his hopes of holding his seat–yet their pie may be smaller than ever, and divided between more seats in play than Republicans have had to contend with since George W. Bush was President.
And that’s just the beginning of the story. Republican fundraising efforts have been upset going into this year by multiple factors including the collapse of the Breitbart-White House alliance, the Steve Wynn sexual harassment scandal that forced his resignation as finance director of the Republican National Committee, and the general perception of an upcoming Republican bloodbath in November.
While no one should be writing Coffman’s political obituary yet, it’s safe to say that none of is working in his favor.