The latest campaign finance report in the race for southwest Washington’s congressional seat shows Democratic challenger Carolyn Long raised nearly triple the amount of Republican incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler last quarter.
From July 1 to the end of September, Long reported a surge in donations, bringing in more than $1.75 million. That's five times what she raised last quarter, and easily surpasses what recent Democratic challengers in the region have gathered for entire election cycles.
Long's campaign reported donations came from more than 70,000 individual contributions with an average contribution of $29.76. Will Casey, Long's communications director, said 77 percent of those funds came from Washingtonians.
"I’m deeply grateful for the grassroots support that has been pouring into our campaign since the primary," Long said in a press release.
“The enthusiasm for our campaign ... isn’t just shown in our fundraising numbers — we’ve seen hundreds of volunteers turn out to knock on doors and phone bank every week since the primary."
The first-time candidate is running in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District to unseat Herrera Beutler, a Republican from Battle Ground who is running for her fifth term.
Beutler, who has previously won re-election by wide margins, raised more than $602,000 in the last quarter, according to her most recent financial report. More than $384,000 of that was from individual contributions, compared to Long's $1,489,650 this quarter.
“This was expected,” said Angeline Riesterer, Herrera Beutler’s spokesperson. “Challengers generally get a big boost in fundraising post-primary.”
“We have enough resources to execute our campaign plan, and Jaime will win the election,” she added.
The 3rd District stretches from the fishing communities in Pacific County on the coast to fast-growing urban cities like Vancouver to more rural areas along the Columbia River Gorge in Skamania and Klickitat counties. A Democrat has not represented the region since former Congressman Brian Baird stepped down in 2011.
Long made a strong showing in the primary and captured 35 percent of the vote, trailing Herrera Beutler by seven points.
A recent internal poll paid for by Long's campaign showed the race as essentially tied. The poll was conducted by Democratic pollsters Lake Research Partners and showed voters preferred Long 45 to 43 percent. However, a live poll by the New York Times showed Herrera Beutler with a substantial lead in the race as of Tuesday.
The race is one of three in Washington that have been flagged as districts that could flip for the Democrats in November.