In the core of political campaign season, some astonishing amounts of money have been raised by various candidates. With spending on everything from billboards to commercials and merchandise to salaries, raising enough campaign money is vital for candidates looking for secure November victories. But how much is enough?
More than $102 million has been spent so far in 2018 to help California congressional candidates get elected to office. While that money has been raised throughout the combined 53 districts that represent California at the federal level, no candidate has raised more than Representative Devin Nunes.
According to opensecrets.org, at this point the incumbent Republican, who represents California’s 22nd district which entails parts of Clovis and Visalia within the San Joaquin Valley, has managed to raise roughly $7.4 million. Not only has he outraised any other candidate by nearly a million dollars, he has also outraised his competitor and local prosecutor Andrew Janz by $4.535 million.
Nunes, who says he represents farmers and middle class Americans, has been most heavily endorsed by crop production agencies and retirees within his district, however his top three individual donations have come from General Atomics at $32,500, Oracle Corp. at $29,800 and Northrop Grumman at $20,850.
Looking to fulfill his 9th consecutive term in Congress, Nunes has been repeatedly attacked by Janz, who has harshly criticized the president, including tweeting today, “We need to elect a congress willing to do its job which is to hold the executive branch and this president accountable”. He has also not held back on confronting Nunes over social media about the highly contentious central valley water issue, stating “Devin Nunes has done nothing to solve our water crisis” using hashtags such as #drewFor22 and #ReplaceNunes.
Furthermore, Janz has said he “supports universal background checks and closing private sale and gun show loopholes, and says those who are convicted of committing a domestic crime or who are mentally ill should not own guns”. And on education “he hopes to expand access to education for all students regardless of race or income, and also to lower the cost of college education” (Via Heavy.com).
So has the large sum of money raised by Nunes been in an effort to overpower any doubts about a potential upset? Nunes is certainly a powerful and established representative within national politics. However, according to recent polls, Janz is gaining steam. “Experts consider Janz the strongest challenger Nunes has ever faced since he went to Congress in 2003. They say Janz has been able to create a larger base of support, more fundraising capabilities and could benefit from Hispanic voter turnout and Democratic-leaning independents in November” (Via CNBC). Although this may be true, a few local sites that obviously lean in favor of Nunes such as Visalia Times Delta have played off Janz to be as simple “as just another Democrat”.
With just over 9 weeks left before the November elections, it appears as if this election could begin to tighten up. And while Nunes’ staunchest and loyal supporters still outnumber Democrats in the district, it will certainly be nerve wracking for the long time Representative.