By Dec. 31, 2017, more than 2,100 people had taken at least the first step toward running for the House or Senate by filing the necessary paperwork, according to records kept by the Federal Election Commission. For context, that’s almost twice as many candidates who launched congressional campaigns in 2015. It represents the most candidates at this stage of the election season since the FEC started keeping these records, in 1977.
Democrats, particularly those running for House seats, are driving this never-before-seen gusher, adding to their hopes of picking up the 24 seats needed to win back the majority in the November midterm elections.
Party leaders don’t mince words about the reason for this outpouring.
“The easy answer? Donald Trump,” said Rep. Denny Heck (Wash.), leader of recruiting efforts for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.