WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats' uphill effort to oust Republicans from their majority is sitting on a $56.7 million pile of cash heading into what is shaping up to be a costly fall election season, campaign officials said Monday. House Republicans again lagged in fundraising but reported $47.5 million saved and ready for ads.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reported raising $11.5 million in July, and a record $7 million of that came from online donors. The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $8 million in July.
As Congress prepared to leave Washington for its August recess, Democratic fundraisers told donors that House Republicans were laying the groundwork to impeach President Barack Obama, still a popular figure among Democratic donors. House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, called that criticism bogus, but Democrats hammered that notion in near-constant fundraising messages.
Combined, the two party-aligned campaign committees have now raised almost $246 million for elections that are unlikely to tip the balance of power on Capitol Hill.
Both parties are already spending that cash on ads in some districts and will expand their advertising blitz in coming weeks. House Republicans have reserved more than $30 million in ad time. Democrats have booked $44 million.
Despite heavy spending, Republicans are expected to hold onto their House majority after November's elections due in large part to redrawn congressional districts that have left few competitive races. At the same time, the party that controls the White House typically loses seats at this point in a presidency, and Obama remains deeply unpopular in many parts of the country.
Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., officially left Congress on Monday. After losing his June primary, Cantor stepped down as House majority leader and he later announced he would not serve the remainder of his term. The departure left Republicans holding 233 seats and Democrats having 199. There are three vacancies.