First-Quarter Fundraising: Winners and Losers

Franken had a strong fundraising quarter. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Franken had a strong fundraising quarter. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted April 16, 2013 at 2:40pm

Updated 4:00 p.m. | There were some dynamo fundraising reports filed by Monday’s deadline. And then there were some duds.

The first quarter of an election cycle is traditionally an opportunity for candidates to flex their fundraising muscles, but it also offers a glimpse at which incumbents may be vulnerable or even considering retirement.

Now that the first reports of the 2014 midterm cycle are in, here’s a quick look at some of the House and Senate candidates who performed well in the first three months of fundraising and those who may have to hustle more going forward:


  • Red-state Democrats: Some of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats turned in some of the largest quarters, including Sens. Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Kay Hagan of North Carolina. National Republicans and super PACs have already indicated they will target them in 2014. (Read more about Senate Democrats’ fundraising success in Roll Call).
  • Sen. Al Franken: The Minnesota Democrat appears to have won the first-quarter fundraising race with about $2 million raised in the first three months of the year. Franken, who won in 2008 by just a few hundred votes after a lengthy recount, is still awaiting a Republican challenger.
  • Prospective Senate candidates in the South: Rep. Jack Kingston raised $846,000 as he considers seeking the GOP nomination for Georgia’s open Senate seat. Kingston has nearly $1.8 million in cash on hand. Reports for GOP Reps. Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey, who have already entered the race, were not immediately available. Democratic Rep. John Barrow, who could also run, reported raising $436,000. Republican Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who is considering challenging Pryor, raised $527,000.
  • Freshman House Democrats: There’s a long list of them who raised more than $300,000. It includes Reps. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., Lois Frankel, D-Fla., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Ami Bera, D-Calif., Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., Brad Schneider, D-Ill., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., and Dan Maffei, D-N.Y.
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who raised $684,000 and Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., who raised $519,000. However, Coffman’s Democratic opponent was another winner. Andrew Romanoff raised $514,000 and had $493,000 in cash on hand — $100,000 more than Coffman. (See Roll Call’s Political MoneyLine blog for which 22 House freshmen raised at least $250,000)


  • Vulnerable House Republicans in California and New York: California Rep. Gary G. Miller, the most vulnerable Republican in the country, raised just $78,000. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., raised $131,000 but was outdone by his Democratic opponent, Sean Eldridge, who raised $311,000 and had twice as much in cash on hand. Elsewhere in upstate New York, it’s unclear how vulnerable Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., will be, but he raised less than $30,000 and had $33,000 in cash on hand. (Read who Stuart Rothenberg picked as this cycle’s most vulnerable House members in Roll Call.)
  • South Dakota Senate candidate Mike Rounds: The Republican raised just $184,000, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. That’s well behind potential GOP primary foe Rep. Kristi Noem, who brought in $270,000. It’s not a strong start to the year for someone likely to face serious challenges from both parties, plus a heavy dose of outside spending.
  • Rep. Michael M. Honda: It’s not that his $221,000 raised was terrible, but the California Democrat has been preparing for a competitive challenge from former Obama administration official Ro Khanna, who is already sitting on about $1 million. Honda had $204,000 as of March 31. He’ll need to pick up the pace to catch Khanna, as the two will likely be battling in Silicon Valley for the next 18 months.
  • Two potential Senate candidates, Steve King, R-Iowa, and Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., turned in forgettable fundraising reports that were hardly indicators of someone preparing for a statewide bid. King raised $93,000 (not counting a refund from a media firm) and had $90,000 in cash on hand; Ellmers raised $100,000 and had $134,000 in cash on hand. King’s potential Democratic opponent, Iowa Rep. Bruce Braley, raised nearly $1.1 million and had $1 million in the bank.
  • Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod and former Rep. Joe Baca: The potentially nasty rematch between these two candidates apparently wasn’t enough motivation for them to raise any money in the first quarter. Negrete McLeod raised just $16,000 and had less than $14,000 on hand. Baca, who opted to run against Miller in the 31st District after initially announcing he’d take on Negrete McLeod , raised less than $18,000 and had $6,000 on hand.