It’s not exactly the best year to be a Republican in Congress. If you’re up for re-election this year — as the entire House of Representatives is — then you’ve got your work cut out for you thanks in large part to the effect of Donald Trump on the public’s perception of the GOP. He’s an energizing force that motivates those on the left who might not vote otherwise to go to the polls and that gives others the reason to buck the GOP establishment.
One Congressional Republican who might be feeling the heat at this point is House Intel Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, who has been in the news throughout recent months for reasons entirely distinct from the question of whether or not he will able to pull off getting re-elected.
As the answer to the latter question begins to unfold, CNN is now reporting that a Democrat challenging Nunes in the midterms has brought in a total of over $1 million in the first quarter of this year alone — and that number was even reported by the network with three days left in the first quarter.
Deputy District Attorney for Fresno County Andrew Janz connects his boost in support to the role Nunes has had in undercutting the Russia investigation. Nunes’ meddling went so far that last year he was pressured into stepping back from his committee’s inquiry, letting GOP Rep. Mike Conaway take over. Republicans on the House Intel Committee have since moved to close that probe altogether.
In addition, Nunes carried on with his own distinct inquiry into the FBI, claiming they acted inappropriately in their investigation of the Trump team. Nunes alleges that the agency went about getting a surveillance warrant covering a former Trump adviser via presenting politically biased evidence to the judge behind the warrant.
This behavior on Nunes’ part has hardly earned him friends on the left.
Commenting about the issue, Janz said:
‘We feel like he is the one person that is really standing in the way of the (FBI Special Counsel) Robert Mueller investigation. We think people deserve to know what happened to our elections in 2016 and what is happening in 2018. And every day my opponent is out there trying to undermine federal law enforcement, the special prosecutors probe and really working for Trump instead of the American people.’
Perhaps even more bitingly, Janz added:
‘Devin Nunes is in Washington playing games on the House Intelligence Committee. And while he is doing that the issues back here at home that people care about are being ignored.’
Janz’s support isn’t from corporate execs or the like. CNN notes that his average donation is $42.55 and his median donation is $20.18, and concurrently, he’s set to have raised the most of almost any Democratic House candidate in the first quarter. However, whether or not Janz can pull off a victory is really an open question at this point; in general, election analysts don’t consider Nunes’ seat as in play, even as numerous other GOP-held seats continue to be considered competitive.
Even still, national political trends are certainly on Janz’s side going into the election later this year. Democrat Conor Lamb recently pulled off a victory over Republican Rick Saccone in a Pennsylvania Congressional district that the president won by about 20 percent as just one often talked about example of this.
Featured Image via Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call