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.
June 20, 2006; 5:55 PM ET
Categories: Democratic Party , House , Republican Party , Senate
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