The House Republican Campaign Committee (HRCC), run by Republican House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, is being outraised by House Democrats, according to official data released by the state.
The House DFL’s money-raising arm, the DFLC, brought in over $1.5 million in 2019, up a whopping 85% from their money haul in 2017. Meanwhile, the HRCC brought in under $1 million in 2019, almost a 20% drop from their fundraising of $1.1 million in both 2017 and 2015.
Some of this can be explained by the House Republicans being in the minority. In 2017, the House DFL brought in only about $860,000.
But more concerning for House Republicans is the cash disadvantage they have going into the 2020 election. At the end of 2019, House Republicans had just about $300,000 in cash on hand. At the same time, the House DFL had about $1.1 million in cash on hand. That marks almost a four times disadvantage for Kurt Daudt and House Republicans.
The House GOP lost its majority when, in 2018, Republicans lost a 20-person majority to the House Democrats in a shift that delivered an 18-person majority for the DFL. Most of those races flipped in the suburbs surrounding the Twin Cities, where hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on each race.
There’s also another challenge for Daudt and the House GOP. Republican insiders who wish to remain anonymous say that candidate recruiting is falling behind. For example, in Minnesota’s second Congressional District, there are still six competitive races without an announced Republican candidate for state house. And there are many other house districts where Republicans yet to have a candidate that aren’t toss-ups, but where a good GOP candidate would require the DFL to spend resources on the race.
Minority Leader Daudt made news last November when he was hired by a D.C. lobbying firm. Daudt won’t serve as a lobbyist, and instead will do consulting work. But some critics argue that the position is distracting Daudt from winning back the House, while others point out that the House minority usually tends to have trouble raising money and recruiting candidates.
Meanwhile, the Senate Republican Victory Fund (RSVF) raised about the same amount as Senate Democrats did in 2019—each side raised about $1.3 million. Yet the Senate Republicans have over $2 million of cash on hand, compared to Senate Democrats $685,000, as of the end of 2019.