Rep. Steve Knight loses 2017 fundraising battle with Democrats by over $700k

Rep. Steve Knight, California's most vulnerable lawmaker, turned in a lackluster fundraising performance at the end of 2017, mirroring a lack of enthusiasm for him by constituents.

Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) is struggling with fundraising, ending 2017 with a lackluster haul.

While congressional incumbents usually have a fundraising advantage, Knight was out-hustled and out-fundraised by one of his Democratic opponents.

Knight raised $240,000 in the last three months of 2017, while Democrat Katie Hill raised $252,000 in the same time period.

Hill is one of eight Democrats who filed with the Federal Elections Commission to run against Knight.

When looking at total funds raised this cycle, the fundraising prowess of Democrats far surpasses that of Knight. Three Democrats (Hill, Bryan Caforio, and Jess Phoenix) have raised a combined $1.66 million so far.

That compares to only $914,000 raised by Knight.

Even before this news, Knight was in trouble for his 2018 re-election bid. The L.A. Times named him California’s most vulnerable lawmaker, and he is regularly listed by national outlets like CNN as one of the Republicans most likely to be ousted in November.

Knight has closely aligned himself with Donald Trump, even though Trump’s agenda is wildly unpopular in California.

Knight voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act while six in ten Californians support it.

After Republicans failed to fully repeal the bill, Knight supported the changes that will increase premiums by up to 30 percent for Californians and increase the number of uninsured by 13 million people, including more than 31,000 in Knight’s district.

Knight also supported the Republican tax bill when just three in ten of his own constituents supported it.

That bill will result in higher taxes for working-class Californians, and could slow down California’s growing economy. Knight is using Trump administration talking points to try to spin the bill as a victory for Californians, but the truth is his constituents were right to oppose it so adamantly.

Knight’s weak fundraising could be a result of his district’s growing discontent with where his priorities lie. His district overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Knight’s allegiance to Trump could cost him his seat in 2018.