For Congressman Tom McClintock, a new year hasn’t changed a fundamental campaign weakness. The veteran Republican lawmaker was again outraised by his leading Democratic challenger, Jessica Morse, in the first three months of 2018, new federal fundraising reports disclose.
It marks the third quarter in a row that Morse has outraised McClintock, leaving her with more cash in the bank going into a crucial phase of the campaign.
According to reports filed to the Federal Election Commission over the weekend, McClinctock raised $327,000 in the first quarter of the year and had $676,000 cash on hand as of March 31. Morse, a former staffer at the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department, raised $357,000 and ended the quarter with $715,000 in cash.
McClintock is still the favorite to win another term in the Republican-leaning district, which includes the Sacramento suburbs of Roseville and El Dorado Hills as well as Sierra Nevada communities from Truckee to Yosemite. But Democrats’ strong fundraising make him look at least somewhat vulnerable for the first time since he won the seat in 2008. In recent months, political handicappers have moved the race from the “safe” Republican category to “likely” Republican.
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Since launching her camapign, Morse has raised over $900,000 while a second Democrat, Regina Bateson, has raised another $600,000, a sign of how energized the party base is. Morse and Bateson, who is on unpaid leave from her job as a political science professor at MIT, have been locked in a fierce fight for Democratic votes ahead of the June 5th primary. With McClintock expected to win the “top-two” primary, only one Democrat is poised to advance to the general election in November.
Bateson’s fundraising fell off in the first quarter of 2018, however, and she spent more ($156,000) than she raised ($142,000) leaving her with $262,000 in the bank at the beginning of April.