Kansas Democrat Sharice Davids outraised incumbent GOP congressman Kevin Yoder by more than $1.6 million over the past three months, a strong sign of Democratic enthusiasm in a race that could determine which party controls the U.S. House of Representatives.
Davids, a lawyer and amateur mixed martial arts fighter, is Kansas’s first openly gay, Native American nominee for Congress.
She raised more than $2.7 million since the end of June, a total that appears to shatter records for a Democrat in the suburban Kansas City congressional district where Davids is challenging Yoder.
Yoder raised a hefty $1.1 million in the same quarter, a record for a Republican in Kansas’ third congressional district. He has nearly $1.3 million cash on hand going into the final weeks of the campaign.
National Democrats targeted Yoder’s seat after Democrat Hillary Clinton narrowly won the district in 2016.
Recent public polls show Davids leading Yoder, a four-term incumbent, although Yoder’s internal polling shows him with a small lead.
Davids’ record-breaking fundraising total is in line with other big third-quarter hauls by Democrats running in competitive House races, said Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections, which provides nonpartisan analysis of campaigns for Senate, House, governor and president.
“Normally that would be regarded as a good fundraising quarter for a U.S. senate candidate,” Gonzales said, but so many Democratic challengers are raising incredible amounts of money that $2.7 million starts to sound normal.”
“Democratic donors nationwide are ready to send a message to the president, and social media makes it easier for Democratic donors across the country to find the best takeover opportunities,” he said. “Ten years ago it would have been difficult for donors outside the third (district) to find Sharice Davids, but now it’s much easier. The third district is recognized as one of the most competitive districts in the country and Democratic donors are following those cues.”
Dennis Moore, the Democrat who represented the third district before Yoder, never raised more than $2.4 million per election cycle, much less per fund raising quarter, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan campaign finance research group.
“Our campaign is built on grassroots support and the momentum continues to build,” Davids said in a statement. “So many people have made small-dollar investments in this campaign because they know I’ll work for Kansas families, unlike Congressman Kevin Yoder, who looks out for his special interest donors.”
Yoder’s campaign brushed off Davids’ strong numbers by contending that the Democrat is reliant upon out-of-state money.
“Sharice has been completely non-existent in the district because she’s raising liberal money around the country. She’s skipped important local events for swanky New York fundraisers. She’s had Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris soliciting donations for her from Massachusetts and California. Meanwhile, Kevin continues to work hard and win votes here in the Third District.”