After a tumultuous start to the year in American politics, new finance reports show Rep. Angie Craig had the largest fundraising haul among the main campaign accounts from Minnesota's evenly divided U.S. House delegation in the first three months of 2021.
The Second District Democrat raised just over $500,000 in contributions from January to the end of March, with reported transfers helping to bring her total receipts to over $517,000, per her campaign's latest federal filing. She also benefited from $160,000 in donations that included political action committees and other congressional campaign accounts. She has more than $1.4 million cash on hand.
Craig won a close re-election race last fall, and her seat is considered to be one of the front-line races heading into the 2022 midterms. Redistricting also looms over the midterm dynamics, where districts will be redrawn and Minnesota could lose a seat.
The fundraising shows Craig "is taking her re-election race very seriously by raising a lot of money right off the bat," said Kathryn Pearson, a University of Minnesota political science professor.
"Midterm elections are historically bad for the party of the president, so in a swing district in a midterm election, it could be another very competitive race," Pearson said.
The start of the year saw a slew of major events in the political landscape, starting with the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Rep. Jim Hagedorn and Rep. Michelle Fischbach were among the Republicans who objected to certifying President Joe Biden's win. Since then, Biden took office and Democrats celebrated last month as they passed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.
Hagedorn reported around $157,000 in total contributions that included $10,750 from political action committees and others, with transfers included in a final tally of close to $239,000. The First District Republican has close to $254,000 in cash left.
"Given that he only won re-election by a little over three points, I would have expected that he would have raised more money," Pearson said. "We don't know what his district will look like two years from now. That's sort of the other wild card. Might it be safer? Might he be more vulnerable? Unclear."
Fischbach, who holds what's seen as a safer GOP seat, saw total contributions come in at around $123,000, according to her filing, with more than $36,000 stemming from political action committees and other congressional campaigns. A variety of transfers helped bring the Seventh District Republican's haul for the quarter to around $224,000 and more than $127,000 in cash on hand. The campaign also owes $90,000 in debts.
Among other members of Minnesota's congressional delegation, Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer reported having close to $529,000 left in his campaign account. Democratic U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar had more than $176,000.
These fundraising numbers are the latest step in the 2022 election cycle, where stakes are high, as Democrats will try to defend their narrow majorities in both the House and Senate.