Campaigns

Rep. Katie Porter’s $1 million second quarter paces vulnerable Democrats so far

More than 17,000 unique donors have contributed to the California Democrat’s campaign since January

Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., questions Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in February. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Katie Porter raised more than $1 million in the second fundraising quarter of 2019, the most reported so far of nearly three dozen House Democrats in districts leadership has deemed vulnerable.

The California freshman Democrat’s grassroots efforts in the 45th District have paid off, with twice as many small donors — those who gave $100 or less — giving money to her campaign in the second quarter than in the first quarter, according to a news release Wednesday from her campaign.

More than 17,000 individual groups or people have donated to Porter’s campaign since January.

“The strength of my campaign comes from grassroots supporters, who are energized by my work in holding special interests accountable and standing up for Orange County families,” Porter in a statement Wednesday.

“I am proud to reject corporate PAC money and thankful for the thousands of working families who gave what they could,” she said.

Porter took a gamble earlier this year by becoming one of the first vulnerable Democratic House member to call for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump after the Justice Department published a redacted version of special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s final report on his 22-month investigation into Russian election interference and possible obstruction of justice by the White House.

She has raised her national profile with regular appearances on MSNBC and gained a reputation as a strong member of the House Committee on Financial Services for her penetrating questioning of financial banking titans.

Before the 2018 midterm elections, California’s 45th District had been in Republican control since it was created in 1983 and was most recently represented by former GOP Rep. Mimi Walters.

But despite its longstanding Republican-voting history, the Orange County district broke for Democrat Hillary Clinton over Trump by 5.4 points in the 2016 presidential election.

That shift proved a harbinger for the 2018 midterms, in which Porter defeated Walters by 4 points and every district in Orange County broke blue.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the 2020 race for California’s 45th District Likely Democratic.

Other vulnerable California Democrats have reported significant fundraising totals for the second quarter as they look to defend their seats.

Rep. Josh Harder of the 10th District raised $750,000 in the second quarter, bringing his total fundraising for the year to $1.6 million. He has $1.3 million in cash on hand.

Rep. Katie Hill, who represents California’s 25th District, raised $720,000 this past quarter. More than 10,000 unique donors contributed to her campaign since the the beginning of the cycle, according to a news release from her campaign earlier this month.

Inside Elections favors the Democratic incumbents in all four congressional races that include Orange County: California’s 39th, 45th, 48th, and 49th districts.

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