By Christian Smith

Democratic voters' willingness to donate to candidates trying to regain control of Congress shows a fervor rarely seen in midterm races, said Harley Rouda, a California businessman seeking to unseat longtime Republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher in Orange County.

"I think we are seeing that all across the United States that Democratic supporters and voters are not just going to the polls, but they're opening up their pocketbooks to support candidates ー and the reason they are doing that is because they know this is arguably the most critical election of our lifetimes," Rouda said Monday in an interview on Cheddar.

The campaign for California's 48th district has been Rohrabacher's most expensive race in his 30-year career. As of the latest FEC filings on June 30, Rouda outspent Rohrabacher by almost $700,000 ー Rouda's $2.2 million to Rohrabacher's $1.5 ). By comparison, Rohrabacher spent about $600,000 in the last election cycle.

A July 17 Monmouth University Poll showed the race is a virtual tie, with Rouda leading Rohrabacher by only two points, well within the poll's margin of error.

Though many Democratic candidates in close races are generating enthusiasm among voters by attacking President Trump, Rouda said he's focused more on his opponent's record in the traditionally Republican district than he is on the president.

"Although Trump certainly has low ratings here, Rohrabacher has equally low ratings," Rouda said.

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