Freshman Democrats rake in cash to protect the House

The most vulnerable House Democrats are off to a fast start defending their seats — and their party’s fragile new majority.

Nearly three-dozen Democratic freshmen in battleground districts raised more than $300,000 for their campaigns in the first three months of 2019 — a barometer of early momentum in the seats that could determine control of the chamber in the 2020 election.

Competing with a crowded Democratic presidential field and higher-profile Senate races, the new class of Democrats responsible for flipping control of the House have fought to sustain the torrent of campaign cash, much of it from small donors, that allowed candidates to outspend GOP incumbents in most of the contested House races last year. Now, as incumbents themselves, the eye-popping numbers could help fend off GOP challengers as Democrats attempt to hold their majority while waging war with President Donald Trump on multiple fronts.

Democrats currently hold a 19-seat majority in the chamber, which they won back in last year’s midterm elections after eight years in the minority.

Out of the 43 freshman Democrats being targeted by Republicans heading into 2020, only eight posted numbers less than $300,000, according to a POLITICO analysis. No freshman Democrats were outraised by Republican challengers who have declared at this point, though many more are expected to jump in later in the year.

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