The path back to a House majority is incredibly difficult for Democrats. But there was a lot of good news for them in the first set of campaign finance reports of the 2014 election cycle.
For the big winners of the first quarter, just look to the top of the list. A pair of Florida freshmen, Democratic Reps. Patrick Murphy and Joe Garcia, each raised over $550,000 in the first quarter. Classmate Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., joined them in the half-million-dollar club, as the three made a formidable start to their first reelection bids. Florida's airwaves might be particularly crowded in 2014 thanks to an expensive governor's race — if Murphy and Garcia can keep up the pace, they stand a better chance of cutting through the clutter. Meanwhile, none of the three has an announced opponent yet, and these sorts of numbers catch the attention of potential adversaries.
In general, the members of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Frontline" program for vulnerable incumbents acquitted themselves well. Including the high-flying trio listed above, 11 of 26 Frontline Democrats raised more than $300,000 in the first quarter, and another handful raised good sums just below that marker. Rep. John Barrow of Georgia (a possible Senate candidate), along with freshmen Brad Schneider of Illinois and Raul Ruiz of California, were the next three top fundraisers in the program. Rep. Ron Barber, whose district is one of three Democrats must defend in Arizona in 2014, was the low fundraiser of the group, and he brought in a cool $297,000.