Nationally Democratic House Candidates Are Raking It In, but Not in North Dakota

Congressional candidate Ben Hanson in Dickinson. (Grady McGregor / Forum News Service)

“Is it time for Republicans to start freaking out?” asks Politico.

“More than 40 House Republican incumbents were outraised in the final quarter of 2017 by one — or several — of their Democratic opponents, according to the latest round of fundraising numbers. And of that group, more than a dozen had less cash on hand than their Democratic challengers,” the news website continues.

Whatever the national trend – one might argue that the RNC’s massive fundraising advantage over the DNC might negate some of the Democratic advantage in these House races – it doesn’t seem to have manifested itself in North Dakota.

North Dakota U.S. House candidate Ben Hanson – fresh off a fourth place finish in his own legislative district in the 2016 cycle – announced his campaign back in August. Since then he’s raised just $114k…

…and ended the 2017 reporting period with just $46k in cash on hand:

Hanson’s opponent, three-term incumbent Congressman Kevin Cramer, obviously has the advantage of incumbency. Meaning he’s been fundraising since the last election cycle (and had some money left over given that the Democratic candidate, #NoDAPL protester Chase Iron Eyes, wasn’t much competition). Still, attempting to compare apples to apples, Cramer has raised about $307k from July (the beginning of the third quarter reporting period) through the end of 2017.

That’s more than 2.5 times what Hanson raised.

Democrats will counter by saying that Cramer’s fundraising haul – he’s raised over $856k so far in the 2018 election cycle and ended 2017 with over $951k in cash – isn’t particularly impressive for a Republican incumbent in a Republican state.

Perhaps. But then Cramer doesn’t seem to have been putting a lot of effort into fundraising. Nor, given the weak candidates like Hanson and Iron Eyes the Democrats have pitted him against, has he needed to.

Interestingly, North Dakota Democrats have invested a lot of time and effort and money into beating Cramer up in recent months. But that seems to have been more about protecting Senate incumbent Heidi Heitkamp from a Cramer challenge than driving support to Hanson.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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