Money advantage decided most House races, proved insurmountable for California GOP

California 48th District winner Harley Rouda mingles with supporters on election day. He raised substantially more money than his Republican incumbent opponent Dana Rohrabacher and was aided by millions in attack ads from outside groups. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)

With a handful of House races yet to be called, the candidate backed by more money has won exactly 90 percent of them.

That means the candidate with less financial backing — including their own campaign funds and outside spending support — has won in just 41 of 411 House races that have been decided.

Though 90 percent is a high number, it’s the lowest win rate for better-funded House candidates since 2010.

Of the 49 races called in California, just four winners had less money behind them than their opponent. For Texas and New York, the number shrinks to three and two, respectively.

The blue wave of money convincingly crashed onto the shores of California, as Democrats outraised Republicans in nearly every race — even in likely Republican districts — and took home a number of red seats when the dust settled.

Some Republicans were able to fight through the cash disadvantage. Rep. Tom McClintock easily held on to the conservative 4th District seat despite being outraised $3.2 million to $1.6 million, as did 1st District Rep. Doug LaMalfa, who was slightly outraised by his Democratic challenger.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, too, held off Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, despite being tripled in fundraising and under federal indictment for misusing campaign funds.

Other Republicans facing cash-rich Democrats weren’t as fortunate.

Democrat Katie Hill flipped the 25th District with the help of a massive $7.3 million fundraising haul through mid-October, compared to just $2.3 million for incumbent Rep. Steve Knight.

Republican Rep. Jeff Denham lost his 10th District seat, finding himself outraised $7 million to $4.4 million by Democratic challenger Josh Harder.

Notorious Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher couldn’t overcome opponent Harley Rouda’s fundraising advantage — $6.7 million to $2.4 million — or the $11 million in attack ads by some of the biggest liberal outside groups.

A couple tight races have yet to be called, including the 45th District where Democrat Katie Porter has a slight lead over Republican Rep. Mimi Walters. Porter outraised Walters $5.8 million to $4.4 million, but Walters had slightly more outside spending support, including $4.3 million from the Congressional Leadership Fund.

Most of the liberal campaign cash in Texas went to Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, but big Democratic fundraising — and more than $8 million in outside spending — helped Lizzie Fletcher flip Texas’ 7th District. A similar cash advantage helped Colin Allred upset Republican 32nd District Rep. Pete Sessions.

In New York, Republican incumbents Pete King and Lee Zeldin were slightly outraised by their Democratic opponents but didn’t have trouble holding onto their seats.

The same couldn’t be said for Rep. Dan Donovan, who was upset by Democrat Max Rose while being outraised $4.1 to $2.2 million. Rep. John Faso also fell to a better funded Democrat in Antonio Delgado, who raised $7.8 million to Faso’s $3.6 million.

Despite raising next to nothing in the lead-up to the election because of a federal indictment, Rep. Chris Collins still outraised Democratic challenger Nate McMurray and narrowly defeated him in the 27th District. He was one of only a handful of Republicans in New York to outraise the Democratic opponent.

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