Yesterday was an important holiday for Ohio political nerds. It’s the day that campaigns had to file their annual fundraising numbers for 2017, reflecting money raised since the semiannual deadline halfway through the year. And, for the last six months of 2017, Democrats outraised their Republican counterparts in Every. Single. Statewide.Race.

We don’t want to overstate the Democrats’ fundraising advantage. Every Republican ends the period with more money in the bank going into the filing period, as do their state party committees, so the war chest advantage still goes to the other side. But the most recent haul helps to close that gap–in all but one noteworthy instance: Governor.

Here’s the rundown of the 2nd year fundraising matchups:

Auditor of State

  • Democrat Zach Space: $254,000 raised, $225,000 cash on hand.
  • Republican Keith Faber: $223,000 raised; $675,000 cash on hand.


  • Democrat Rob Richardson: $520,000 raised; $376,000 cash on hand.
  • Republican Robert Sprague: $282,000 raised; $518,000 cash on hand.

Secretary of State

  • Democrat Kathleen Clyde: $416,000 raised; $634,000 cash on hand.
  • Republican Frank LaRose: $365,000 raised; $839,000 cash on hand.

Attorney General

  • Democrat Steve Dettelbach: $1.082 million raised; $1.528 million cash on hand.
  • Republican Dave Yost: $648,000 raised; $2.036 million cash on hand.


  • Democrat Rich Cordray: $2.011 million raised; $2.0 million cash on hand.
  • Democrat Connie Pillich: $483,000 raised; $912,000 cash on hand.
  • Democrat Joe Schiavoni: $261,000 raised; $277,000 cash on hand.
  • Republican Mike DeWine: $1.933 million raised; $10.563 million cash on hand.
  • Republican Mary Taylor: $365,000 raised + $3.25 million loan; $3.508 million cash on hand.


  • Mike DeWine’s cash balance was boosted by combining forces with Jon Husted, who added more than $4 million of that total. This is the one instance where the cash-on-hand advantage grew rather than shrank.
  • Mary Taylor loaned herself $3.25 million(!) and still trails badly in fundraising. She really wants to challenge DeWine and honestly, we are extremely here for that.
  • Many of the above numbers include some last minute infustions from the state parties, but none enough to flip the fundraising advantage. For instance, Dave Yost’s total was boosted by $140,000 from the GOP, while Dettelbach received a $25,000 party check. Without these amounts, however, Dettelbach actually doubled Yost’s semiannual haul.

Clearly the Republicans have a major cash advantage, and that’s not even taking into consideration cash infusions that will come later from state and national party committees. Not to mention outside spending on their behalf by dark money groups. But the key takeaway that’s exciting for Democrats is that people are enthusiastic about 2018 prospects that they are giving to Democrats even when the battle is decidedly uphill. There is enthusiasm from small donors and large.

Some candidates are even hearing from traditionally republican-aligned groups that they fear it’s going to be a wave year and that smart donors who normally give only to republicans are more open to giving to both sides this cycle. So that is something to watch for in the next fundraising period.

giant blue wave

We’ll get into the numbers more later, looking at who is giving and why, but for now it’s a good day.

To research the fundraising numbers yourself, visit the Secretary of State’s website and run a committee search. Let us know if you see anything interesting!