Research Associate Matthew Klein and intern Ethan Jasny contributed to this report.
In picking apart the results from 2022, a consistent gripe of House GOP strategists is that despite an advantage in "soft" money spent by Super PACs, Democratic incumbents clobbered their Republican challengers in "hard" money donations. Because candidates are guaranteed much lower advertising rates than outside groups, that edge proved critical in allowing Democrats to define their opponents early and win their races.
This cycle, the National Republican Congressional Committee has made an early concerted effort to turn the tide, and it's paying off. It helps that Republicans are now the incumbents in many of the "battleground" seats and have ramped up their own political operations quickly. In the second quarter of 2023, the median Republican representing a seat in our Toss Up and Lean columns raised $729,000 and had $1.1 million in cash on hand. At this stage in the cycle, that cash can be an effective deterrent against strong opponents jumping in.
Of the 34 Republicans listed in any degree of vulnerability in our House ratings,
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