In 2018, when now U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer defeated incumbent Republican Congressman Rob Blum in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, that race saw over $6.9 million raised. Finknauer outraised Blum by over $2.2 million.
In 2020, as Republicans seek to reclaim the seat in a district that The Cook Political Report calls a toss-up, the 2020 race will be expensive.
The 30-year-old congresswoman has raised more cash than Blum did at the same point in time during his first re-election bid. Finkenauer raised $456,241 during the 3rd quarter and has raised $1,283,870 in 2019.
She has spent $109,370.54 during the 3rd quarter, and her total spending in 2019 is $349,754. Her campaign has $963,100 in the bank.
After the 3rd quarter in 2015, Blum had raised a total of $444,936.45, with $157,950 raised during the 3rd quarter. His campaign had $938,978.15 in the bank at that point.
Finkenauer’s Republican challenger, State Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Marion, trails Finkenauer in fundraising thus far. She has, however, outraised the amounts that Finkenauer and Blum raised during the same period in 2017.
She raised $317,967.40 during the 3rd quarter and raised $655,520.40 since May. Finkenauer, at the same point in 2017, raised $308,111.16 (in her defense, she had a four-way primary), and Blum raised $450,013.46.
Hinson, 36, has raised more money than any other Republican candidate in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, whether an incumbent or challenger, at this stage of an election cycle.
Hinson spent $120,849.25 in the 3rd quarter and $158,565.25 since May. Her campaign has $497,500.15 in the bank.
Looking deeper into the numbers, Finkenauer has more, smaller donations. In 2019, her campaign lists 629 individual contributions compared to Hinson’s 206. Almost $126,000 of the individual contributions to Finkenauer’s re-election campaign were $200 or less compared to over $19,500 for Hinson.
Both women had numerous large donors ($2000 or more). From those donors, Finkenauer raised slightly more than $284,000, while Hinson raised almost $223,000.
Hinson, however, saw more of her donations come from Iowa. Open Secrets reports that 98 percent of her contributions came from within the state, compared to 23 percent of Finkenauer’s. Almost 9 percent of Finkenauer’s donations came from within the First District compared to nearly 42 percent of Hinson’s.
According to the FEC website, Finkenauer raised $176,540 from California, $73,550 from New York, and $39,717.98 from Massachusetts compared to the $90,192 raised in the state.
Hinson raised $291,750 from Iowa donors. Virginia is the only other state she raised more than $1000, with $3000 coming from that state.
As a challenger, Hinson is in good shape and has raised the bar for Republican fundraising in the district. She is going to need it with the onslaught of outside money sure to pour into this race.