House Democrats Lead Fundraising Amid Difficult Majority Odds

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U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) speaks during a hearing on implementation of the Affordable Care Act before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Oct. 24, 2013 on Capitol Hill.

House Democrats excel at fundraising even as the national political environment and demographics work against them winning a majority of seats in November.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee topped the National Republican Congressional Committee by $6.4 million to $5.1 million in February donations, the 12th time in 14 months that the DCCC raised more money than its partisan counterpart, according to reports filed last week with the Federal Election Commission. The DCCC began March with $34.4 million in the bank compared with $24.8 million for the NRCC.

Rep. Anna Eshoo of California sent $125,000 in campaign funds to the DCCC last month. She wants the top Democratic slot on the Energy and Commerce Committee along with New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, who sent $152,000 to the DCCC in January.

Texas Democratic lawyers Steve and Amber Mostyn were among donors who each gave the maximum $32,400 to the DCCC last month. Their law firm gave $25,000 to a super-political action committee encouraging former secretary of state Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2016.

John DeSimone, chief financial officer of Herbalife Ltd., sent $5,000 to the DCCC.

Boehner for Speaker Committee, associated with House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, transferred $613,488 to the NRCC in February. Rep. Tom Latham of Iowa, who’s not seeking re-election this year, sent $97,500 in campaign funds to the NRCC.

Money is just one factor influencing elections, though, and several other factors point to continued Republicans control of the House. Population shifts and redistricting have distributed Republican voters more efficiently than Democratic voters across the congressional districts. Lower-turnout midterm elections usually favor the party opposing the White House. President Barack Obama’s job approval rating is below 50 percent. A Republican victory in a special election last month in Florida, in a district the president won in 2012, called attention to how Democratic base voters are less motivated to vote than Republicans.

Republicans control 233 of the 435 House seats, compared with 199 for the Democrats. There are three vacancies.


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