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Democratic Committees Hold Fundraising Edge

For the first time in recent memory, the Democratic Party's House and Senate campaign committees currently have more money to spend on races than their Republican counterparts -- a milestone reached just five months before the critical midterm elections.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ended May with $24.5 million in the bank, compared with the National Republican Congressional Committee's $21.9 million, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission today.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had $33.5 million in the bank at the end of last month, while the National Republican Senatorial Committee had just $18.5 million.

The news for the House Democrats is particularly good as they have regularly operated at a considerable cash disadvantage in recent cycles. The competing House committees raised essentially the same amount -- $5.6 million for the NRCC, $5.5 million for the DCCC -- but House Republicans spent more than $6 million in May, compared with less than $4 million in spending by House Democrats. Much of that spending (approximately $4.5 million) helped fund the GOP's special election victory in California's 50th District earlier this month.

It's also worth noting that the NRCC raked in $15 million at the big fundraising dinner that President Bush hosted last night, a sum that should ensure that Democrats' cash edge is short lived.

The dominance of Democrats on the Senate side continues unabated as the DSCC closed May with nearly twice the amount of cash on hand as its Republican counterpart. The DSCC once again outraised the NRSC, pulling in $4.7 million in May compared with the NRSC's $4.3 million. Again, it's important to note that the NRSC raised $12 million at last night's GOP dinner, a take that should help them level the financial playing field heading into the fall.

While the May numbers show real successes for the Democratic fundraising machines, the cash-on-hand edge may be fleeting. The X-factor is the continued cash disparity between the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee. The RNC ended May with $43 million in the bank, while the DNC had just $10.3 million on hand.

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate leaders have privately fretted for months that the RNC is positioned to make massive cash transfers to both the NRCC and NRSC that the DNC will be unable to match -- tilting the fundraising race toward the GOP yet again. Party Chairman Howard Dean insists that the DNC's investment in a 50-state strategy will pay off in November and beyond.

For more background: The Post's Jim VandeHei penned a terrific story on the shrinking Republican fundraising edge on June 11.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 20, 2006; 5:55 PM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party , House , Republican Party , Senate  
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Next: Parsing the Polls: Presidential Erosion

Comments

"I voted" is worse than NOT VOTING when the problem is the choices produced as the only REALITY choices are BOTH BAD. "Hold your nose and vote for Gore" was evidence of what the public thinks it has to accept.

I have been "unaffiliated" as a voter my entire lifetime until Nader came on the scene as, in my view, A VALID CHOICE WHO COULD and SHOULD WIN. In 2000 I was not INFORMED by the media, I was informed by a guy I met by happenstance in Harvard Square who ended up buying me a cup of coffee and chatting at Au Bon Pain, and during that told me, "Ralph Nader is running for President" and I said, "ON WHAT PARTY?" and the new friend said, "The Green Party."

I had never heard of the Green Party. I went running to the library and found a book copyright 1985 or 1986. It was good, but badly out of date. For this blog audience, however, the Green Party is international, and most effective in Germany, and in the U.S., has claimed official voting results to office in California.

My voting was always only for President. I rarely followed the local politics, and was not brought up in a politically active family. My family was Republican, and I did not register that when I was of age, because it was Vietnam era, and not a surprise, from a Republican "culture" I was not willing to register Democrat, but instead registered Independent, which no longer means "unaffiliated" which is necessary if you want to simply register at an entirely non-partisan level. 49% in Massachusetts did that last election. (My information was from the State Election Commission) Of course you would expect them to have that.


The Electoral College is the biggest arbitrary arbitrator that does not appear to have the proper and intended result. Eliminating it is one idea that has been reviewed officially, and not done. I see changing the Winner Take All to the District Electoral Representation Accuracy as a remedy that each state could choose as its preference, state by state, or even at a national approved referendum.

Remove the artifactual and MANY people believe Bush would never be in office.

Each and every voting machine is not unreasonable, but the bigger picture at a official systems level of Electoral College, and that netting a fairer view and forcing the media to stop calling the shots ahead of time. OF COURSE I am not going to say Massachusetts could be Republican. I am going to say it could be very very NADER...as could the entire country.

Certainly valid is that is supposed to be the accuracy potential ASSUMED now for ANY BEST AFFIRMATIVE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.

Doesn't matter? Ha.

(I am not laughing.)

The Electoral college is supposed to have a purpose and what happened and what the media does with it is not what is intended. Radical shifts as if anything, the tiniest wind of leverage, real or artifactual, can indeed alter the outcome, should not be a reality. MAJORITY RULE OF INFORMED BACKING OF A CANDIDATE AT A POLICY EFFECTIVE LEVEL is supposed to be the result of a true democracy.

The Electoral College is being used as an artifactual manipulator that has no real bearing on the truth of the people. The media, I believe is casting the Electoral College and making it a public cliche of advanced notice. Status quo entrenched. No thank you. Democracy at hand, yes. Every four years, a NEW PRESIDENT? If appropriate, big yes.

I did a survey on the results this past election, asking them three questions, and 23 of the 50 states replied. The questions were A-Who won (they usually answered with the stats of the winning numbers); B-Did they PHYSICALLY VOTE? (I wanted to know if they really had done an informed approval of the popular vote that each elector is pledged to represent); and C-WAS THERE AN ACTUAL REVIEW OF THE NUMBERS BEFORE THE VOTE?

Overall, the states each are complying with their current regulations and procedures. Not a surprise.

In this questionnaire, my purpose was to see if the Electoral College did an affirmative review.

Those who replied did not show any deviation from the actual votes, as is supposed to be the pledge. HOWEVER, if the electoral college has any real function, it is indeed the reality that they are supposed to be the "graders" and approve the votes, at an informed and intelligent level.

I tried to make the informed GRADING happen by going to the Electoral College meeting in MA and offering a suggestion that they use the time frame window available, to review the platforms of the three leading candidates, and insure that each knew what each candidate was offering, and verify that with a quick quiz required, and then offer the entire nation, if they wanted to, a simultaneous questioning of the candidates by the electoral college, before the public, and then, after having a final review of the Electoral College, then the votes cast, publicly--IF any deviation, they could do that ON TV --IF against the popular vote...because the accusation of corruption v honest opinion at an educated level, could be in the public eye, and the result would be honest for the state. This was innovative as an idea, and the response was it would have to be a nationally approved congressional amendment to the Constitution before being implemented. To me, no, not true.

I do believe an INFORMED REVIEW among the Electoral college should be required before the votes are cast for each state as final. And, it seems, the District Electoral Votes are preferable if all they do is show a cumulative "win" of the popular vote.

In 2004, I believed the Electoral college MIGHT have overturned the entire popular vote if the 3 leading candidates had had to answer the question posed on a public view, "live" so that the electoral college would indeed KNOW WHAT THEY WERE IN FACT VOTING FOR.

Nader would have told them Bring the Troops Home and offer humanitarian aid and the proper introduction of that should have happened way back during the initial campaign period of the 2004 election when he threw his hat in at the end of February as an independent challenger.

Superficially everyone knew who they were voting for. Two parties, not a president. The reality that everyone claims they like Nader the best and that he cannot win horrifies me, entirely. And, I believe the contention can be attacked on a variety of fronts, with the U.S. Constitution ENTIRELY INTACT!

The states, given their extreme polite and respectful response to the questionnaire seeking to verify the valid process used during the 2004 election, likely would be equally polite and responsive to a public review and vote for each state as to the changing of the Winner Take All system, and let each district have its electoral votes INTACT.

Something to consider.

Back to the voting pattern of us bloggers as an audience, and not party affiliated, believing in the absolute right to vote for the BEST candidate in front of us on election day, it is notable that I voted Democratic, since I believed the two parties were valid up until Bush v. Clinton. I did not vote that year. I was likely becoming more informed. The arms race was my involvement.

Nader's request that all citizens become ACTIVE CITIZENS and participate in democracy is a well taken request.

I stopped voting the two major parties when it was Clinton v Bush, and have since, obviously, voted for Nader. If he runs again, I would again.

In the meantime, while Nader's proper presentation by the media might have been all that is necessary for him to have won by a landslide, the system CAN BE IMPROVED at the "artifactual" level, simply and painlessly at a non-partisan level.

The States can review the Winner Take All situation and likely approve a change to District Electoral Representation within states to net greater accuracy and representation nationally and eliminate the Ohio of this past election (Kerry might have won, but, hello, I would have preferred Nader, and the fact that Nader did not have the votes, is due to the lack of proper presentation--by the media). What if they had presented Nader and his offering? His track record? What if? How they chose not to was astonishing. What did they use as the EXCUSE? THERE ARE ONLY TWO PARTIES. NO, there was a challenger and his name was BIG. Entry should have been welcome by a media that cares about democracy not profit and corruption and ugly politics instead of what ought to be.

Meanwhile, the Electoral college could have that one thing--district accuracy represented at the final Electoral college vote level-- as an easier thing to do which would fix some of it at a large scale level of resisting media precasting states to any particular party, unfairly.

Posted by: Elizabeth Ellis | June 23, 2006 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Why the problem was so big? The public knows everyone could have voted Nader, but they knew the presentation was restricted to two parties. The feeling of insecurity of no "room" for serious political competition on the merits apart from money challenge was huge. They claimed safety in allowing the only two possible tracks for 2004. I believe they expect someone else to fix it! A significant number of Cambridge voters who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 claimed they were mad he didn't win and would not waste their vote again. I was astonished and expected dynamic loyalty and insistence that Nader was best and therefore the system MUST offer the proper presentation. But no, they ran to the opposition, believing Democrats could do what Nader would do. And the media was happy with that lie? Apparently. Asking him why he was running as if it was unwanted was shocking. Nader is more American than Bush or Kerry. Grassroots belongs as the will of the people in office, as reality government, not fiction.

Today the FIX mentioned the PAC committees, which is of interest to me, because they support specific candidates, which is more valid, in my view.

In 1982 I had an American History community college instructor who claimed PACs ruined politics. He must have a reason for complaining about the issue of the role of PAC committees. I believe he thought they created "control" and the monopolizing effect of money buyout of the proper public majority opportunity to win.

Organizations who have done the work on this subject such as Common Cause, likely have studies on this. They should be at the forefront and in front of the American Public as soon as possible to review and discuss funding ceilings and the role of PACS and the viability of Independent Challenges.

PUBLIC INTEREST not Corporate profit which is a distinct difference offered by Nader's candidacy for President. If Nader had been voted into office Bush and his budget and warmongering would be unthinkable. I am offended by military buildup (See the World Almanac for a quick summary chart on the Nuclear Situation and Military).

This DUOPOLY is almost some sort of monster created by the media, as if the incumbent is a favored situation needing copycat replication. Not only did they not present Nader, but they refused a true challenge view from either Gore or Kerry, and made the unreality as if the current status quo was the yardstick, when indeed it is not. The truth was that 99% of the people I met during June and July of 2004 hated Bush with fervor.

2004 was a forced duopoly track. Acceptance of that reality netted a public wanting relief while insanely believing it was not there and they resented Nader's proper entrance. They insisted Kerry was their only real survival option. Kerry was successfully copycatting Bush, to Nader's disgust. But, pressed on the merits, voters did not offer substance on Kerry. They claimed their only real options were the two parties and the offering was the "lesser of two evils." I saw Nader, as the only reality that would put Bush out of office. Moreover, I thought Nader was much more than survival -- protest against his entry was insanity. Obviously people can vote for WHOMEVER they REALLY WANT, but the fact that they want reassurance that that candidate is getting Majority Support must be also a reality supported by the election steps in place administered by honest people wanting the best competition.

ANY smiling monied candidate is not welcome and cannot be fed a "mandate" although there is such a thing as public mandate, the choice of the BEST candidate is supposed to be voted affirmatively as a public mandate.

The media should be letting each candidate state his priorities clearly without forcing unwanted comparisons. Let the candidates do that. They are supposed to be able to prove leadership themselves.

The Constitutional Election system DOES NOT require the CURRENT TWO PARTIES to dominate.

Well, I still say I am sure the reason that people didn't choose Nader on Election Day is EXACTLY what is offered in the two comments above.

People who wanted Nader policy still voted DUOPOLY. As reality. They lied to themselves. A vote for Kerry was a vote for Bush. It was a Vote for Nader that would bring peace and sanity and America back to its feet with proper values. Kerry voters who wanted Nader results took from Nader when they voted Kerry. If you wanted Nader you could have voted for him. But, the majority belief was that they could not. Why is the DUOPOLY, which must be addressed and non-partisan competitive elections implemented.

Posted by: Elizabeth Ellis | June 22, 2006 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to make this point, since Ralph Nader stood absolutely no chance at winning the Presidency, any vote from him by a Democrat was a vote for Bush, especially in the states of Florida Ohio Iowa and New Mexico, Colorado and Arkansas as well.

Posted by: Rob Millette | June 21, 2006 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Liz Ellis,

A quick does of reality here. This party system is a duo system. It wasn't designed that way but thats what we have. No third party is strong enough to even come close to threatening what the Democrats and Republicans have. Even when an independaent wins, that candidate was typically either very well known (Jesse Ventura) or a former Republican or Democrat.

Even the talk of a third party in the 08 Presidential race of Unity 08 is all talk of one Republican one democrat on the ticket. Its a ticket of moderates from both parties. Isn't that amazing, even the third parties are trying to get candidates from the 2 major parties.

Massachusetts belongs to the Democrats, I live there myself. I am one of your unenrolled people as is the rest of my family and I have only voted for 2 Republicans my entire life. Mitt Romney, who ran as a moderate/liberal for Governor and Joe McDonald in the Plymouth County Sheriff's race because the former Sheriff was rife with bad stories about him and the dept.

A majority of the unenrolled here all lean to the Democrats. If I were the Dems, I would spend in total less than 25,000 in the entire state and that would be to help win the governor's race.

No other race is threatened in this entire state. Heck Kennedy is out rasing money from the area for out of state candidates like Senator Byrd and Candidate for Senate Harold Ford. Looks like he's really worried eh? Massachusetts is as blue as they come, MA has a completely democratic delegation. Overwhelming majorities in both the state house and the state senate and are primedto take over the governor's seat which has been Republican solely to balance the scales. As bad as the Republicans are doing right now, the scales need to be tipped for the Dems.

Posted by: Rob Millette | June 21, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Fundraising is necessary and ought to support GOOD CANDIDATES not unprincipled moneygrubbers and powermongers and worst of all, war mongers...

And, the money for a supposed "majority party" (THE DUOPOLY of two parties both claim the majority, but the money is not USED for a MAJORITY CANDIDATE...)...the DEAN is not who the money will go to, and the GAME is what I saw during the 2004 election.

It is not a game.

Principles belong in politics.

When I read the tiny blurb with a photo showing Dean protesting against Nader (I recall it was in Oregon), I considered it
VERY unprincipled of him. He should be brought to task for his backing of the LIBEL that the Democrats were VERY guilty of: "A vote for Nader is a Vote for Bush."

THIS COUNTRY DOES NOT BELONG TO TWO PARTIES. IT BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE AT A MAJORITY LEVEL.

Money does not rule above and over the best interests of the MAJORITY.

Dean is not showing the right emphasis.

Dean's protest in Oregon was unprincipled. He should have been saying he did not want Nader in Office. He was NOT saying that. He was indeed saying there is no such choice, while Nader was standing there expecting people to know the reality. People trusted Dean's idiocy. At least the media didn't like Dean's scream. Ironic, I did. I had his button on my coat for one month, until the idiocy of his manager. I knew it was the media, trying to railroad the election.

Well, Dean lost my vote BIG TIME when he withdrew, but without any question, I was glad that happened because I saw the truth of Dean from the photo of Dean protesting against the BEST in Oregon. How dare he? What an idiot! Nader is waiting for the proper reality of true politics to emerge. He is serious. So should the entire country be serious. So should Dean be serious. No, I will not suggest he needs to be removed from the Party Chairmanship. Fine, let him be there. But, NO, the fundraising is the wrong place to be, and the majority can vote against the monied unprincipled game players mocking our U.S. Constitution and government and showing their dollar signs in their eyes so huge that they cannot see any truth in politics at all.

Ask Dean IF the MAJORITY VOTED FOR NADER...would we get a Bush result?

Hello Dean, I do not ever intend to back your politics at all.

And, the media has a job to do. Cover what he is doing yes. But show proper perspective.

What is the media doing about the Party Control over the DEBATES? They actually have the Republicans and Democrats holding the entire "show" and it is NOT THEIRS.

49% in Massachusetts end of primary season were freely choosing to be UNAFFILIATED. 35% freely chose to be Democrats. 13% freely chose to be Republicans. 3% Freely chose smaller parties.

49% knew the BEST CANDIDATE is who they wanted. But, that is true of the majority. Whatever candidate is shown to be the best, is the one people want to choose on election day. The media is supposed to put those BEST candidates in full view. (They have tried to back the two parties unconscionably. And the money emphasis is also unconscionable. Public TV and Radio would show the difference, unfortunately. And they are suffering for lack of money and public expectation. Congress is obliged to take action if they want to bring back America for the People at a majority level.)

Massachusetts DID NOT AND DOES NOT belong to the Democrats.

The media needs to face the reality.

The registration of MA proves the people know what is right.

I know the media is slanting the picture and needs to get the proper view of public interest and NOT money as the Primary Emphasis.

Nader offered that challenge and Dean did not even see any resemblance to the proper view of representing America or the people, especially the MAJORITY.

I don't know where the cliche came from, "Are we having fun yet?" But it applies.

If Politics were done sincerely, we would be having fun.

But, the beauty of this lemon is the lemonade, that the right emphasis can be offered by the media, and the 49% in MA showed they know the truth of elections, that they do not belong to the Democrats or Republicans, and when you look just at Massachusetts in its entirety, the obvious truth is the media needs to give the candidates full view and honesty and not try railroading the money. Public interest and track record at the top, and no duopoly. Free debates and free elections.

As Ben Franklin found it wise to say, "IN my OPINION."

This is my opinion, based on my efforts to get Nader on the ballot as a volunteer in 2004 and having been a fan of his when he hit the limelight in the sixties-

There are other baby boomers who know the other name that stands for what America is supposed to stand for, that Nader was welcome and heralded, and so was John Gardner of Common Cause...whose aim way back then, as I understood it by osmosis was that elections are supposed to be reasonably funded so that the BEST are PROPERLY presented in the media.

Nader at that time was a young lawyer who expected private industry to behave and saw the need for federal regulation of the auto industry, so that minimum safety standards were insured, not tested in the public arena, (as in the level of auto accidents required before fixing things?).

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The public is aware of what is supposed to be. The voting registration of MA in primary season showed the individual truths of the voters at that time, February 11, 2004. We expect campaigns to be proper meritorious contests with the serious candidates given serious media attention with PUBLIC INTEREST as the priority.

Again, as Franklin found it best to say, "This is MY opinion." Waiting to hear others and hope that the variety leads to the proper truth. Education of all sides nets the 360 degrees needed for review of a very important subject.

The thesis that there is a duopoly and it is not in the public interest and that money is a very poor emphasis.

What we have now, with Bush is not only an unwanted WAR but a DEBT LEVEL unprecedented, likely.

Posted by: Elizabeth Ellis | June 21, 2006 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Not that I like Dean politically, but he's right. If we want to made true headway we need to hit every door, mailbox, airwave, etc in every district, precinct, town, city, parrish, county, state, region, etc. all across the country.

The funding disadvantage is going to hurt some, but I predict it won't be as bad as some predict. Even if we don't take bake either house, the 50 state strategy will ensure that we do pick up seats in races that we never would have picked up seats had we only targetted a few races.

Posted by: acarriedo | June 21, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

All I know is I'm seeing national people on the ground a lot earlier in Dem areas, mobilizing them to help out in formerly GOP districts.

It sure feels like a wave in the West.

But, then, we don't cut and run like Cheney and other WH cowards do.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | June 21, 2006 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Last I heard the DGA and it's Republican counterpart both had around $14 million on-hand, but that was at least two months ago I think. I haven't been able to find any more recent numbers.

I agree, Hillary and Spitzer need to throw some serious cash the DNC's way, and they are'nt the only ones with a ton of disposable cash lying around that they could afford to get rid of. Bill Nelson, gov. Richardson, Ted Kennedy and gov. Rendell could all afford to do the same, as they will all be reelected by a mile.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 21, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I second that Rmill. That single advantage makes up for any discrepancies the RNC may have. Also if HRC really wants the Democratic nod for Pres then dropping a cool 15 mil to win back the house and senate would be nice step.

Posted by: Andy R | June 21, 2006 10:02 AM | Report abuse

CC:

What about the National Governor's Associations?

Clinton and Gore need to get out and do some DNC fundies. But don't forget the $47 M sitting in NY between HRC and Spitzer in all but decided races.

Posted by: RMill | June 21, 2006 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The biggest problem is that many of your average voters aren't decided 5 months in advance. A last-ditch effort by the RNC to flood the airwaves could very well secure the undecided vote for the GOP. Sadly, no one in the DNC seems to realize this. Dean needs to start hording at least some of the money so he will be able to get the message out at the last second to counteract the GOP's relentless advertising. Let's just hope Dean can see this... Other than that, the 50-state strategy is working wonders on securing a strong base of support well in advance.

Posted by: Jack in New Orleans | June 21, 2006 8:38 AM | Report abuse

It's not just about money it is also message and realities on the ground in precincts. Thanks to Howard Dean the Democrats are far better postioned to take advantage of opportunities than previously. In spite of the current political environment, a garden variety Washington insider leading the DNC would simply have the Dems focusing on the standard districts, preserving safe blue incumbency, and enriching consultants. That era is going the way of the steam engine.

http://intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | June 21, 2006 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Feel the wave.
Love the wave.
Ride the wave.

Believe us now, red commie Bushies?

Posted by: Will in Seattle | June 20, 2006 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I hate how people say that the RNC can dump so much more money into the races than the DNC can. Yes, I understand that the RNC has a hell of a lot more money, but thats only becausethe DNC is already spending money.

The organizers and field crews that the Democrats are getting out there is money that is already going to these races. The Republicans may have more money to invest later, but the Dems are ALREADY investing money. The money advantage may come into play later when the repubs flood the airwaves, but the Dem message will get out via the people already there in place over the next 5 months. I'd rather have 5 months of messages delivered via volunteers than 1 month of commercials all over the place.

Posted by: Rob Millette | June 20, 2006 8:39 PM | Report abuse

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