Freshman Rep. Jeff Van Drew raised the least amount of money of the 55 Democratic House members who have appeared on a national Republican target list, and had the lowest fundraising numbers of the 31 House Democrats who represent districts carried by Donald Trump in 2016.
Van Drew brought in just $120,556 during his first three months as a congressman – more than $75,000 less than #54 on the GOP list.
With $80,099 in the bank, Van Drew has the second-lowest cash-on-hand of the 55 Democrats targeted by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
His possible Republican opponent, David Richter, the millionaire former CEO of one of the nation’s largest construction companies, announced the formation of an exploratory committee last week.
Three other New Jersey freshmen – Reps. Andy Kim (D-Marlton), Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill) and Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair – have raised more than four times what Van Drew did during the first quarter of 2019.
Malinowski ranked #9 out of 55, while Kim was at #10 and Sherrill at #12.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff), the Human Fundraising Machine, raised $830,000 over the last three months. Gottheimer had the second highest fundraising haul of the 55 Democrats, finishing less than $43,000 behind Rep. Josh Harder (D-California).
Gottheimer has the highest cash-on-hand — $4,911,891 – of the 55 Democrats on the NRCC list. The next closest, Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin), has $2,463,155.
Sherrill’s cash-on-hand — $779,068 – is the second-highest of the freshman Democrats, just $11,000 behind Harder.
Republicans think Van Drew, unbeatable during his seventeen years in the New Jersey Legislature, is vulnerable after winning a surprisingly unimpressive 53% against former Atlantic County freeholder Seth Grossman last year.
The right-of-center Van Drew could also face a primary challenge. The 65-year-old former state senator won the Democratic nomination with 57% against three progressive challengers.
Donald Trump won the 2nd district by 14,830 votes (50%-46%) in 2016.
The seat was held for 24 years by Republican Frank LoBiondo (R-Ventnor), who did not seek re-election in 2018.
Van Drew raised nearly $1.9 million in his last campaign, considerably less than three other New Jersey Democrats who flipped Republican House seats in the mid-term elections.