The Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, broke fundraising records by bringing in $51 million for the second quarter. So far this election cycle, the CLF, which can accept unlimited donation amounts, has raised $93 million and has $71 million on hand.
This haul surpasses what both the Republican National Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee have available to spend and dwarfs the $51 million Ryan raised for the entire 2016 election cycle. In contrast, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s House Majority PAC has raised $25 million through May and has about $17 million on hand, according to the Federal Election Commission.
“We’re going to have the resources necessary to compete,” said Jeb Fain, communication director for Pelosi’s PAC. He was unfazed by the GOP’s war chest: “We have real momentum and we’re on track to raise significantly more money in 2018 than in 2016.”
To date, CLF has reserved $60 million in television ads in 20 of 34 targeted swing districts; however, by law it cannot directly coordinate with the campaigns on the message being pushed in those spots. But buying ad space this early has allowed the PAC to get a preferred lower rate and will make it harder for the Democrats to book prime airtime slots this fall. In the 2016 election, CLF did not purchase any television time until August, and most of it was in the last 30 days of the election. Out of the 34 targeted CLF races, 18 of the districts have been allotted more than $2 million in reserved television ad space, and in expensive media markets it goes up to $4 million in some districts.
Read more at RealClearPolitics.