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House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has shattered his own fundraising record.
Accumulating resources as he aims to steer the GOP back to the House of Representatives majority in November’s midterm elections, McCarthy hauled in $31.5 million during the January-March first quarter of fundraising, according to figures shared first with Fox News on Tuesday.
McCarthy’s quarterly haul tops his previous record of $27 million raised during the first quarter of last year, and is the most ever raised in a three-month period by any House Republican. It brings to $104 million the amount of money the longtime congressman from California’s brought in so far in the 2022 election cycle.
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“As election day draws nearer, the energy and enthusiasm for Republicans to take back the House has never been stronger,” McCarthy emphasized in a statement. “I want to thank our supporters for their generosity and faith in our mission to win back the House majority. These contributions will help ensure our candidates have the resources necessary to compete and win this November.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., takes questions from reporters at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
And he charged that “our nation is suffering greatly under the Biden-Pelosi regime and the American people deserve better — let’s Take Back the House!”
While Republicans lost the White House and their Senate majority in the 2020 elections, they defied expectations and took a big bite out of the Democrats’ large House majority. The GOP now needs a net gain of just five seats in the 435-seat chamber in this year’s midterms to recapture the majority it lost in the 2018 midterms.
McCarthy’s team spotlighted that the House GOP leader’s spreading the wealth. He transferred $12 million during the first quarter to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the House GOP’s reelection arm, which brings to $32 million the amount he’s transferred to the NRCC this cycle. McCarthy also transferred $2.3 million during the past three months and $9.8 million overall this cycle to state GOP parties. And the House leader transferred $1.1 million during the first quarter to vulnerable incumbents and challenger candidates.
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As they aim to regain the majority, Republicans have history on their side. On average the party that wins the White House in a presidential election loses more than 25 House seats in the ensuing midterm election. Democrats are also currently facing a difficult political climate that is compounded by President Biden’s underwater approval ratings. And McCarthy’s record-breaking fundraising this cycle is a sign of Republican grassroots and big donor enthusiasm ahead of the midterms.
A Fox News national poll conducted in mid-March indicated the GOP with a slight edge over the Democrats in Congressional preference among voters.
Another sign is fundraising by outside groups that play in House races.
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The McCarthy-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund and American Action Network raised a combined $110 million last year —outpacing House Majority PAC and House Majority Forward, pro-Democratic outside groups aligned with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks during her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Meanwhile, 30 House Democrats have announced to date that they’re retiring at the end of this current term, or bidding for another office, rather than run for reelection. That’s twice the number of House Republicans who are not running for reelection.
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House retirements are often seen as an early barometer of things to come in the midterms. The last time the House flipped, amid a blue wave in the 2018 midterms, there were 23 GOP retirements compared to just 10 among House Democrats.
Competitive seats become even more vulnerable without a well-known and well-financed incumbent running for reelection.