House Speaker John Boehner has collected about another $4 million for fellow Republicans during an August spent “barnstorming” across the country, his campaign team announced on Sunday.
Boehner raised the additional money attending 47 events held during the House’s recess from Aug. 2-25 that entailed more than 9,000 miles of travel, his team says. Overall, that brings the speaker's total fundraising in this election cycle through his political fundraising committees to nearly $84 million.
The speaker is expected to discuss the fall House elections on Monday during an appearance before reporters at a breakfast in Tampa — site of this week’s Republican National Convention. But on Sunday, Boehner's campaign team provided details of what it says has been his focus during the August recess to “play offense” in terms of seeking to strengthen the GOP’s House majority.
They described most of the speaker's fundraising stops as being directed at helping GOP challengers and incumbents in races in New York, Illinois, and California. Among his other stops were events in Indiana, Iowa, and Utah.
Boehner's fundraising total includes money raised by his various committees, at National Republican Congressional Committee and member's events headlined by the speaker, and through direct-mail contributions. His team says that more than $20 million of the money raised this cycle has been transferred from his committees to the NRCC. He also has contributed more than $2.1 million from his committee directly to Republican House colleagues and other GOP candidates.
House Democrats need a net pick-up of at least 25 House seats to regain the majority in the chamber that they lost in 2010. According to an analysis of the “political landscape” provided by Boehner’s campaign strategists, there are 50 seats considered to be in play. The Boehner team views 23 of those as Republican “offensive opportunities,” including seats in North Carolina, Utah and Kentucky, Illinois, California, and New York.
But Boehner’s campaign team says he also directed them to develop a so-called orphan-district strategy for other House races in which Republican incumbents and candidates face the added challenge of running in “blue” states like New York, Illinois, and California, viewed by many as already in President Obama’s column in the presidential contest.