Republicans are stunned at both the sheer number of Democratic candidates throwing their hats in the ring for 2018 and the cash they are amassing in these early fundraising days. Politico writes:
Animated by opposition to President Donald Trump and the Republican congressional majorities, at least 162 Democratic candidates in 82 GOP-held districts have raised over $100,000 so far this year, according to a POLITICO analysis of the latest FEC data. That’s about four times as many candidates as House Democrats had at this point before the 2016 or 2014 elections, and it’s more than twice as many as Republicans had running at this point eight years ago, on the eve of capturing the House in the 2010 wave election.
Nearly three dozen Republican incumbents were outraised by Democratic challengers in the third quarter of this year – a stunning figure. Nine GOP incumbents already trail a Democratic opponent
cash on hand, increasing the likelihood that many veteran incumbents will face tough opposition for the first time in years. […]
“That’s something that should get every Republican’s attention in Washington,” said Jason Roe, a Republican strategist who works on House races. “These first-timers are printing money.”
The phenomenon is happening in both red and blue states. In New Jersey, for instance, all three of GOP Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s Democratic opponents surpassed his third-quarter fundraising, and each of them has already taken in more cash than any of the 12-term Congressman’s previous challengers.
And in the Houston-area district of Texas Republican Rep. John Culberson, which went for Clinton in 2016, both of his Democratic opponents ended the summer with more cash on hand.
The challenge for Democrats will be navigating the primaries without tearing each other apart. That said, Democratic voters feel a palpable sense of urgency right now, and many will experience the power of making a real choice in the primary.
“Clearly there is an intensity among the Democratic base that is similar to what Republicans had in 2009, but it’s hard to tell what it’s going to be like a year from now,” said [GOP strategist Mike] DuHaime. “But you can’t deny the enthusiasm.”