J.D. Scholten, the Democratic challenger to Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District Race, on Monday, boasted on Twitter how much he had outraised the incumbent Congressman.
A fundraising deficit for King is not unusual. King was outraised by his Democratic challenger, Jim Mowrer, in 2014 who ended up losing by 24 points. In 2012, Christie Vilsack brought in a lot of cash (King ended up raising slightly more than her in end), and she lost by eight points.
There are two primary reasons why Scholten has outraised King:
- King is a favorite target of the left; they desperately want to unseat him, so they spend a lot of money here.
- With lots of battleground districts outside groups are not willing to spend lots of money in a district that is considered safe.
There are only two metrics that matter leading up to election day in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.
The question we need to ask is how much of that money was raised with the district and within the state?
Looking at Open Secrets which has collected the latest Federal Election Commission data available electronically shows a different picture when you ask that question.
- Only 14.4 percent of Scholten’s individual donors during this cycle has come from within the state compared to 56.9 percent of King’s individual donations.
- King has raised twice as much from in-state donors than Scholten – $142,058 compared to $63,457.
- Only 8.1 percent of Scholten’s individual donations come from within the 4th District compared to 32.6 percent of King’s.
- King has raised twice as much as Scholten from donors within the district – $81,565 to $36,354.
- The top two places Scholten’s donations come from are San Francisco ($84,363) and New York ($60,975) whereas the top two places King’s individual donations come from are Des Moines ($35,980) and Sioux City ($18,360).
So who has more support from within the district? Congressman Steve King.
As of October 1st, Republicans hold a 70,251 registered voter advantage in the district. Republicans also outnumber “no party” voters by 18,000, and many of those voters tend to lean Republican.
He has a slightly larger registration advantage than he did in 2016, which was slightly more than 69,000 and he won by just under 23 points. His registration advantage is higher than it was in 2014 – 56,437 and he won by slightly more than 23 points. He only had a 51,542 voter registration advantage at this time in 2012, and he beat Vilsack, the former first lady of Iowa and best-known candidate to run against King, by eight points.
King has more financial support within the district. He has an insurmountable voter registration edge that has widened compared to the last three races he ran. If the Democratic Party and leftist organizations want to waste money in the district, hey be my guest.
Turnout matters, but that’s pretty much accounts for the difference between King’s 8 point win in 2012 and the 23 point shellacking in 2014 and 2016.