The list of Democrats whose fundraising hauls fell short includes numerous endangered freshmen such as Reps. Steve Driehaus and Mary Jo Kilroy of Ohio, New Mexico Rep. Harry Teague, and Mississippi Rep. Travis Childers.
But the roster of first-term Democrats whose Federal Election Commission second quarter figures lagged behind their Republican opponents also features other junior and senior members like Florida Rep. Ron Klein, Pennsylvania Rep. Paul Kanjorski, Kentucky Rep. Ben Chandler, California Rep. Jerry McNerney, South Dakota Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Texas Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, Indiana Reps. Joe Donnelly and Baron Hill, and North Carolina Rep. Mike McIntyre.
In some cases, the fundraising disparity was stunning: Ohio Republican Steve Stivers raised $532,000 for the quarter – more than doubling Kilroy’s $260,000 takeaway. Kentucky Republican Andy Barr out-raised Chandler by more than $200,000. Klein took in a respectable $511,000 during the quarter – but his figure paled in comparison to challenger Allen West’s astonishing $1.4 million.
For the most part, the fundraising gaps were minimal. Pennsylvania Republican Lou Barletta took in $17,000 more than Kanjorski. Mississippi Republican Alan Nunnelee took in $25,000 more than Childers.
But the fact that these challengers managed to outpace sitting members—who enjoy the fulsome advantages of incumbency—is further evidence of the favorable environment for GOP candidates.