Trying to win a second term in the U.S. House, Republican Nan Hayworth of New York has almost tripled her fundraising.
“I’m out there on the road, in the district, as I should be,” Hayworth said. “I have a team that’s amazing. But dollars are required. Those dollars go toward cable, radio, brochures, getting the troops on the ground.”
The fundraising by Hayworth and other Republicans in competitive races is a boost to the party’s chances of retaining the House this fall. Republicans made a net gain of 64 seats in November 2010 and recaptured the majority they held from 1995 to 2007.
Of the 19 Republicans most in danger of losing their House seats in November, including Hayworth, 14 had more money in the bank as of June 30 than their Democratic opponents.
The most vulnerable lawmakers are those listed in toss-up contests or as underdogs by two Washington-based publications that track congressional races, the Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg Political Report.
“We cannot afford to take anything for granted in this election,” said Paul Lindsay, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Hayworth raised $2.2 million through June 30, compared with $738,382 during the same period two years ago, not including a $500,000 personal loan. Her amount of cash in the bank almost doubled, to $1.5 million from $775,000 at the same time in 2008.
Her opponent, Sean Patrick Maloney, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, emerged from a Democratic primary with $264,364 in the bank. He raised $675,771 through June 30.
Maloney’s campaign manager, Timothy Persico, said Hayworth’s money is coming from the special interests she has represented in Washington.
“Congresswoman Hayworth has spent her time in Washington fighting for Big Oil and the insurance industry - she even wrote a bill allowing CEOs to hide their salaries,” Persico said. “PACs and corporate lobbyists have sent over a million dollars to Congresswoman Hayworth because she’s worth every penny.”
Representative Allen West of Florida, a Tea Party favorite, raised $10.1 million and entered July with $3.7 million in the bank. When he was first elected in 2010, he spent $6 million.
West’s leading Democratic challenger, small-businessman Patrick Murphy, raised $2.3 million and had $1.3 million in the bank. Murphy’s campaign is also being helped by a super-political action committee, American Sunrise, which has raised $350,050, including $250,000 from Murphy’s father, Thomas.
“We’ll have more than enough to get our message out to the voters,” said Murphy’s campaign manager, Anthony Kusich. West, running in a different district than the one he now represents, “has to spend a lot of time rehabbing his image and introducing himself to new voters.”
In two races, one each in Iowa and Ohio, House incumbents are pitted against each other, and the Republicans also came out on top. In Iowa, Tom Latham had $2.1 million in the bank as of June 30 compared with $473,550 for Democrat Leonard Boswell. Ohio Republican Jim Renacci reported $1.5 million cash on hand compared with $903,710 for Democrat Betty Sutton.
The Republican financial advantage has been amplified by spending by outside groups.
Crossroads GPS, founded with the help of Republican strategist Karl Rove, ran 538 spots and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ran 120 spots to help Latham through July 23, according to New York-based Kantar Media’s CMAG, which tracks ad spending. Both groups keep their donors secret.
House Majority PAC, a Democratic super-political action committee that discloses its contributors, ran 386 spots to help Boswell.
Some Democratic challengers are having success in matching or exceeding their Republican opponents. Ami Bera in California, Tammy Duckworth in Illinois and Gary McDowell in Michigan all have more money to spend than the Republican lawmakers they’re trying to oust.
So do two Democrats in rematches. In New Hampshire, Ann McLane Kuster reported a bank account balance of $1.3 million to $912,791 for Republican Representative Charles Bass. Former Representative Dan Maffei of New York entered July with $880,267 cash-on-hand while Representative Ann Marie Buerkle, who ousted him two years ago, had $765,105.
Still, Republican outside spending cut into the Democratic financial advantage. For example, the Chamber ran 225 ads to help Buerkle, according to CMAG.
Only one vulnerable Democratic incumbent, Mark Critz in Pennsylvania, had less money to spend than his opponent. Republican Keith Rothfus had $644,936 in the bank at the end of June while Critz had $428,275.
In the Senate, the four most endangered incumbents all entered July with more money in the bank than their opponents: Republicans Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Dean Heller of Nevada, and Democrats Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Jon Tester of Montana.
Brown had $15.6 million cash on hand to $13.5 million for Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren. Heller had $4.4 million the bank compared with $4 million for Representative Shelley Berkley.
Tester’s $3.6 million gave him a financial edge over Republican Representative Denny Rehberg with $2.7 million. And McCaskill has more money to spend, $3.6 million, than her three Republican rivals combined: Representative Todd Akin, who has banked $1.4 million; former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman, with $561,661; and businessman John Brunner, $182,914.