Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
About Chris Cillizza  |  On Twitter: The Fix and The Hyper Fix  |  On Facebook  |  On YouTube  |  RSS Feeds RSS Feed

RNC Doles Out Cash, DNC Goes Door to Door

With almost $43 million in the bank at the end of March, the Republican National Committee is the looming giant on the 2006 political landscape. For months, Democratic strategists have privately fretted that the RNC will begin to dump millions of dollars into key Senate and House races in the fall -- complicating their efforts to win back majorities in either chamber.

An RNC fundraiser tonight featuring National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Reynolds (N.Y.) and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairwoman Sen. Elizabeth Dole (N.C.) will do little to quell those fears. The event, which will be held at the St. Regis hotel, is expected to raise $150,000 from the 150 or so lobbyists scheduled to attend.

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman insists that the dollar amount for the fundraiser is less important than the emphasis on coordination between the three committees. "From the beginning I have viewed the Senate committee and House committee as partners in keeping Republican majoriities in Congress," Mehlman said. "We are looking [at] every one of the campaigns as a team." As evidence, Mehlman pointed out that he leads a newly-minted weekly call with deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove, White House political director Sara Taylor, White House communications director Nicolle Wallace and various representatives of the House and Senate committees to share information and plan for the fall campaign.

The largest impact the RNC can have on the fall campaign, however, is by opening its bursting bank account to the NRCC and NRSC -- both of whom find themselves in surprisingly competitive fundraising races with their Democratic counterparts. At the end of March, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had a two-to-one cash edge over the NRSC; the NRCC had just $1 million more in the bank than the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

For their part, the Democratic National Committee is aiming to make a major gain in their 50 state strategy this Saturday by organizing roughly 1,000 voter canvassing events around the country to spread the Democrats' alternative plan for America.

The goal, according to DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney, is to hang 1 million door knob placards and -- in the process -- start a series of conversations about the 2006 elections. It is the first in a series of three events (the second will be in July, the third in September) designed to "connect this grassroots online community with the activity going on in their states," according to Finney.

The idea of neighbor-to-neighbor contact was used to incredible effectiveness during the 2004 presidential race by the Bush campaign, which relied heavily on local officials and community leaders to deliver its message. Finney tacitly acknowledged the success of that effort, noting that "in the 2004 elections [Democrats] raised record amounts of money and had record turnout but the ability to have this kind of infrastructure was something we were lacking."

The level of activity from both the DNC and RNC in the runup to the 2006 elections suggest what both sides believe is at stake in November. For Republicans, the loss of the majority in either House would lead to gridlock in Congress and likely stymie the Bush Administration's chances of leaving a lasting policy legacy. For Democrats, who have watched their party lose the White House, the Senate, the House and a majority of governorships over the past 15 years, a win is much-needed to create momentum heading into the crucial 2008 presidential contest.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 26, 2006; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party , Republican Party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Parsing the Polls: The Politics of Gas Prices
Next: R.I. Senate: Dem's Exit Could Boost Chafee in GOP Primary


funny ringtones

Posted by: | August 16, 2006 1:10 AM | Report abuse

LastYes the RNC will drop all the money they can to keep / win seats. They are desperate because of their POOR record and scandels. I hope they all loose.
What the DNC needs to do is GROW the grass root movement. They need to get all those retired people to walk and talk it up. They do need money but it will come. Lastly they need to get a GREAT Platform and their ideas need to resonate with the people. Don't make a nasty campaing but they must address the issue of the War, Taxes, and Our Constitution. Our rights are being violated and that MUST STOP.
I would be more then happy to work in the evenings for the DNC. I can be reached at and I am in MIlwaukee, Wisconsin

Posted by: Mary Ellen Lepak | May 23, 2006 10:52 AM | Report abuse

occupation a war...

and going into a campaign year intending to enact

Project for a

without telling the citizens that....

17 pilots in the 9/11 fiasco, most of them Saudi Arabian and UAE, one lebanese...

you figure it out.

Treason, yeah that's right...your president and cabinet....look who signed the statement of purpose

you _WILL_

find Dick Cheyney and Donald Rumsfeld as signators....

aint it funny that we're doing what was suggested in 1997?

oil reserves in Iraq, SECOND LARGEST IN THE WORLD....

you want to hide this aint about republicans or democrats it's about a countries resources being used to help a class/family, not a country...

Posted by: treason is creating is renaming an | April 30, 2006 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Treason? Oh dear, the liberals are trying to make Republicans into evil corrupt people. It seems to me that treason means a US Citizens or group are trying to sabotage the entire nation, like the Oklahoma bombing.

Crimes of sabotage to destroy US property would be like a bombing by Puerto Ricans in NY years ago, or the first World Trade Center in 1993. Looking back, those were more acts of terrorism to demolish our nation.

Joe Wilson was more in the manner of treason by using his insider status as a former diplomat with a CIA wife to get a trip to Niger. He lied that he was authorized by VP Cheney, and when the truth came out, he tried to take down Cheney and the President. Outing a CIA agent is against the law, that is true, but Wilson jeopardized his own wife in his own obsession against President Bush to use his wife to go to Niger and then write his column. Funny that Robert Novak is not being dragged in front of the grand jury, but then again, the anger by the Democrats is only focused on the President, Cheney and Rove and Libby.
Did any of you ever wonder about Matt Cooper of Time magazine who is married to Mandy Grunwald, employed by the Friends of Hillary group? The Democrats should look at themselves and use their energy to do something more worthwell today.

Posted by: Ellen | April 28, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

the elections won't be held today, they'll be held after even more failure in Iraq, even more oil price hikes, even more GOP ethical scandals, and even more GOP indictments for treason.

you guys are looking at single digits.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | April 27, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

1. illegals need to go home and make their country a better place to live in.

2. congress people need to obey the laws they pass and be arrested if they don't

3. the president needs to be held responsible for lying about Iraq, whatever the rationale...arrested not impeached.

4. we need to stop unregulated outsourcing.

5. we need to reestablish pensions and benefits as a part of life in America.

6. we need to work no more than 40 hours a week, unless we want to.

7. we need to remove our marginalized people from that life style and make use of them as resources........permanently. if someone is not mentally ill, they can be a useful citizen, if they're not they're dead weight on _us_, that my friends is inefficient and blame won't make it go away.

8. some people need to be put on trial as a way of reestablishing democracy in the United States.....right now, we're posturing towards Iran as_if that was a rational choice to geo h. w. bush...

9. infrastructure needs to be rebuilt in communication, highways, commuting and telecommuting needs to be a mandated options...

11. bring back customer service from overseas and let the out of work factory people do that until we get out resources back under our control...not the internationals...

12. look at internationalism as a problem that can be solved by taking action and that it is not necessarily bad as long as the people that are in control

can be held responsible for their lack of thoughtfulness....if they can't we don't need to do business with them..

13. and so on

the point being that just raising the price of gas, taxing it and putting that towards infrastructure and alternatives, will be a big first step....

the next step would be saying that it will be much higher in 6 months _all at once_

and put a plan in place to support that change....

Iran is already saying it's going to start playing with the oil market, right? so we're vulnerable right? well maybe Europe do we need to start a war or take action to make it so that we have a choice?


in WWII rubber was replaced by plastic when it became necessary to find alternatives, and we've never looked back

in WWII silk was replaced by nylon and we've never had to look back

Posted by: animosity is good for you.. | April 26, 2006 6:20 PM | Report abuse

So overall the republicans have about $19 million more than the democrats at the national party level.

Luckily, democratic candidates for the House, Senate and governorships are running even or far better than their repub opponents in fundraising.

Here are a few Dems who have huge COH advantages and who are a lock for reelection who could help bring the democratic party even with the repubs in money by making big donations to the pary:

Hillary Clinton: $19M (opponents both have less then 500K)
Eliot Spitzer: $19M (not sure of opponenets COH)
Ed Rendell: $15.5M (opponent has $1M)
Bill Nelson: $10.7M (Harris has about $4M)
Bob Menendez: $6.36M (Kean has $2M)
Ted Kennedy: $9M (??)

Posted by: Ohio guy | April 26, 2006 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm door knocking here in Baltimore City on April 29th with 30 other people and Oz Bengur who's already spoken out about the failed policies of the Bush Administration. People are angry and frustrated and Democrats are ready to take back the Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008!

Posted by: Greg Shaffer | April 26, 2006 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure it matters if Republican voters switch party lines (though given the polls on the current administration's performance it's likely they will in some districts and states). The real question is what will the independents do? If polls are any indication, Republicans may be in real trouble in many states, especially where state legislature gerry-mandering doesn't impact the composition of the electorate.

Posted by: Rich in Columbus, OH | April 26, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Yes indeed, the RNC has lots of cash, and I keep wondering when the Post is going to start covering the European investigations (yep, there are several) that the RNC funnelled millions of dollars illegally into European elections in an attempt to buy friendly "allies" for Bush's Iraq folly, the neocon gobalizationinsanity, and a whole lot more. You keep ignoring this, yet it threatens to be a much bigger mess than anything this country has ever experienced before.

Posted by: Mike | April 26, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else bothered by the fact that half of the former responsibilities of a certain White House staffer have been reassigned so that he can spend more time working to keep his party in power? What is the job of the executive again?

Posted by: Rick in Cincy | April 26, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The concern, from what I understand, isn't that Republican voters are going to vote for Democrats but that they simply won't show up, which will make a difference in tight elections. Democrats should be encouraged by the DNC's plan to pound the pavement early, which will hopefully energize voters who lean Democratic. It's going to be an interesting year.

Posted by: Kathy | April 26, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Karen -- you might want to take a look at how the Cook report has recently down graded quite a few "safe republican" seats to "lean republican." This is indicative of a general feeling amongst political professionals that we may (not are, but may)be heading for one of those rare elections when even safe seats are very much up for grabs. In such elections, close races almost always go for one party and some seemingly second tier races end up competative.

Also, regarding Hyde's seat in Ill and the various upstate NY seats. All of these districts (along with the entire state of Illinois) have been trending more and more democratic for the last decade. They're still Republican leaning, but definitely not "safe" anymore. I will be hugely surprised if Dems don't pick up at least two or three seats from the list you mentioned. And if that happens, I'm sure you'll get a chance to post some horrific and slanderous statements regarding Speaker Pelosi. :) I'll enjoy reading those posts...

Posted by: Colin | April 26, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

At this point I am looking at Dem gains of:

5-6 Governors
4-5 US Senate seats
9-12 US House seats

Posted by: RMill | April 26, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

With Jefferson and Mollohan in deep trouble with the law, expect neither party to benefit from the scandal issue.

The Democratic 50-State Strategy is worth watching. We'll see how they do.

Posted by: Silent Cal | April 26, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Re: Pigs lining up at the K Street filling station... Oh look... they're all GOP operatives in there!

"Some animals are more equal than other animals" -George Orwell

He thought he was writing about communism... I bet he's turning in his grave now over Wahington's sell-out of the citizens to K Street operatives and the ascendancy of those in Congress who pander to their interest group clients.

Posted by: Long Beach, CA | April 26, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

If the elections were held today, there is no doubt in my mind that democrats would make gains. They would get a majority of governorships around the country and would make gains in both the Senate and House.

Karen, if anything, the Abramoff scandal nationally will hurt the GOP but if your going to talk statewise, I'd say Ohio will end up hurting the GOP with its scandals much more than Iowa will hurt the Dems. I've atleast heard of the scandals in Ohio, via coingate, Taft's low approval amd Bob Ney. The only reason I know something happened in Iowa isbecause Republicans bring it up. I couldn't give you one detail about it. McKinney hitting the cop is a scandal, Abramoff is a scandal, Coingate is a scandal. I have no clue what the problem is in Iowa and until I hear about it on TV, I'm gonna have to assume its effects will be minimal. Obviously, it will have some effect, but not to the scope of Abramoff, Taft, Ney Delay and Bush.

Posted by: Rob Millette | April 26, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

From the perspective on the ground, it looks like even so-called "safe" seats for the GOP are up for grabs this year, especially with their continued incompetence and cowardice in dealing with real issues that affect the Middle Class.

I foresee a rout.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | April 26, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse


How can you say on the one hand the scandal in Iowa hurts Dems but the massive scandals regarding Abramoff and in Ohio with Noe and Taft will result in R's sending their congressmen back to office.

I don't mind debating the scandal factor and how it will affect voters but either scandals hurt or they have minimal impact. You can't have it both ways.

If Iowa goes down because of perceived scandals there, be prepared to lose Ohio big and a number of House and Senate seats.

Posted by: RMill | April 26, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Let's look at the totals:

DNC $10.002 M on hand
DCCC $23.018 M on hand
DSCC $32.115 M on hand
DGA $14.051 M on hand

TOTAL $79.186 M

RNC $42.957 M on hand
RCCC $24.488 M on hand
RSCC $16.526 M on hand
RGA $14.290 M on hand

TOTAL $98.261

The bulk of Republican $ on hand advantage is in at the RNC. Dems have stayed pace or exceeded Rep fund raising for their respective Congressional and Gubernatorial efforts.

Since Jan 1 2005, the DNC has raised $74.154 M and spent $70.184 M wheras the RNC has raised twice the amount $141.941 M and spent $113.658 M.

Not surprising and overall, the Dems have matched the Reps in fund raising. The decided advantage of having incumbant President is giving the GOP a party fund raising edge.

Posted by: RMill | April 26, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Let's look at the retiring Congressman Oxley's seat in Ohio-District 4. The race is between an Iraq war vet, Nathan Miller, and a wealthy fellow in the Republican primary in early May. It is a tight Republican district, so will the Democrats put up a challenger and waste their money?

The Cook Report figures there are 30 competitive races, and the Dems need to keep the seats they have now, and increase them by 15 to get back into the majority. If the retiring Republicans are in strong districts, the Dems will not win it.

Cilizza can go back to his Roll Call newspaper days and report about these Congressional races, but the reality is that most Republicans will vote to keep their incumbents in office and few Democrats will pick up those vacant seats.

Henry Hyde of Illinois, Oxley in Ohio, Cunningham in California (special election in 30 days), and New York retirements of GOP. Few voters will be crossing over to vote for Democrats, any self-respected registered Republican just won't be doing it.

I also think the financial scandal in Iowa will drag down the Democrats from the corruption of Gov Vilsack and his buddies. That taint is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of voters in Iowa, and it might pollute Vilsack's political pool for 2008.

Posted by: Karen | April 26, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company