House Republican leaders Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise voted for it. Hell, even Devin Nunes and Doug LaMalfa voted for a resolution rebuking President Donald Trump for withdrawing U.S. troops from northern Syria, allowing Turkey to attack our Kurdish allies.
Just 60 Republicans–including California’s Duncan Hunter and Tom McClintock–stood with the president and voted against the resolution.
Hunter’s more likely to be in prison than in Congress come January 2021, but McClintock is seeking his seventh term representing probably California’s most conservative congressional district, and he can’t afford to take chances in these perilous times.
Check out his latest fundraising plea:
“The fundraising figures from this quarter will very likely determine whether this district is again targeted by Democrats,” McClintock wrote in a Sept. 26 email to supporters, pointing out that two Democrats seeking to oust him outraised the incumbent nearly three-to-one during the summer. “I cannot afford to be outraised by this kind of margin two quarters in a row.”
Every plea ever made for political funding has been couched in apocalyptic terms, but there’s a good reason fundraisers paint such dark pictures: They work. Certainly it did this time as McClintock more than double his cash haul from the second quarter to the third quarter of 2019, according to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission.
McClintock raised $333,000 during the third quarter, bringing his total haul for the 2020 campaign to $729,000. He had over $500,000 in the bank on Sept. 30, moving him ahead of his leading rival, Democrat Brynne Kennedy.
Given the conservatism of his district, it really isn’t necessary for McClintock to outspend his opponent. In the 2018 race, Democrat Jessica Morse outspent him two-to-one and still lost by 8 percentage points, a comfortable margin of victory even if it was the closest one for McClintock this decade.
Kennedy, who bills herself as a former San Francisco-based technology entrepreneur, has raised over $550,000 and had $330,000 on hand at the end of September. But Kennedy will have one advantage Morse lacked: No significant opposition in the primary. Morse had to spend a lot of money to secure a run-off spot against McClintock, but Kennedy has a clear path to November 2020 since her only significant primary opponent, Sean Frame, dropped out of the race last month.
Money plays a big part in the shape of a campaign. Incumbents who have a lot of money in the bank can scare away formidable opponents, and the Democratic Party won’t invest a lot of money in the race if the party’s hopeful–in this case, Kennedy–can’t raise a lot on her own.
Kennedy’s campaign pointed out that she has now raised more than any previous McClintock challenger at this point in the campaign. “Over half of her contributions are here in the fourth district, ” spokesman Todd Stenhouse told the Sacramento Bee. This past quarter, Kennedy saw not only a “huge influx of support inside the district but a 25 percent increase in the number of contributions,” he added.
Still, in a district where Trump got 54 percent of the vote in 2016 but lost the state by over 3 million votes, you have to like McClintock’s chances of getting reelected, regardless of how much money he has to spend.