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RNC Releases February $ Numbers

The Republican National Committee raised just over $5 million in February and cut spending by roughly 40 percent as compared to the first month of the year, according to figures released by the committee this afternoon.

The RNC collected $5.1 million in February and ended the month with $24 million in the bank, a $1 million cash on hand improvement from its showing at the end of January.

"Chairman Steele will continue to focus as he has from day one on the organization, staff and resources necessary to win elections," said Jim Dyke, an adviser to the RNC.

At this same time in the 2008 election cycle, the RNC raised $7.2 million in February and ended the month with $10.8 million in the bank. (The comparison is inexact as Republicans controlled the White House and were preparing for a costly presidential race at this time two years ago.)

The RNC fundraising numbers will draw considerable scrutiny as they represent the first quantitative analysis of Chairman Michael Steele's first month in office, which, qualitatively, is kindly described as a struggle.

In conversations with Republican operatives -- those friendly to Steele and those less inclined to see the good in the new chairman -- the fundraising question was raised repeatedly.

If Steele was able to fundraise effectively, concerns about his ability to stay on-message would dissipate, the sources argued. If, on the other hand, Steele proved a less than stellar fundraiser, calls for his removal would increase.

The February report likely buys Steele some time although it doesn't offer conclusive evidence to answer the questions swirling around him. Steele's cost-cutting and ability to add to the cash on hand total will be touted by allies as signs of progress. Detractors will note that a series of $5 million months is not the stuff that will return Republicans to the majority. (In February 2008, the RNC raised more than $10.5 million.)

Remember that context matters. If the Democratic National Committee, which has not yet released its February numbers, posts a massive fundraising month, the pressure will ramp up on Steele to flex the RNC's fundraising muscle in March or else. If the DNC's February number is more pedestrian, Steele will face less immediate pressure to exponentially increase the RNC's February take.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 18, 2009; 5:46 PM ET
Categories:  Republican Party  
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Comments

Donate to Republicans? That's throwing good money after bad? They must be doing pretty well to toss millions around like that.

Posted by: thebobbob | March 20, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

..."Well if the President knew, and he admits it, then people will forgive him, if he don't they won't."

..."I like President Barack Obama, "VOTED FOR HIM/TOO." "We all make misstakes and as long as the "Democratic Congress/President/same/Party, then all is forgiven in our family/business."

..."What a MESS/REPUBLICANS/RECORD/FACT/SHOWS/DISASTER/FACT dropped in President Barack Obama's lap, "American's more concerned about that then this...chow."

Sincerely, Tommy Birchfield, Voter/Vet USAF
Master's Program, Professional Studies,
East Tennessee State University/Class 2009!

Posted by: ztcb41 | March 19, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I am sure that the Republicans are delighted that they raised $5.1 million. I cannot imagine anyone in his/her right mind contributing to the Republican Party at this time.

Posted by: EarlC | March 19, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

the press just released the story:

The RNC money came from Michael Steele's refrigerator freezer.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 19, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks27 - um, that was in 2008 - you know, when President Bush was the President.

moron.

Posted by: WillSeattle | March 19, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I didn't know AIG execs had $5.1 million to give their Socialist brethren in the Socialist Republican party ....

Release the list of names and amounts not repaid NOW!

And bring Bush and Paulson who authorized the AIG bailout and bonus amounts for hearings under sworn testimony.

No Return of Assets - No Peace!

Posted by: WillSeattle | March 19, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

They should give that money to the Bush Library. It's not fair that GW should suffer such lack of respect.

Posted by: moemongo | March 19, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

all that money from where?
executives
from AIG
Bernie Madoff and his auditor...
???????
please feel free to continue the list

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 19, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

$5M seems reasonable for the first month after the changing of the guard. It's probably unfair to compare it to 2008 given that was an election year, and the GOP is completely demoralized at this point.

Provided the DNC doesn't blow this number out of the water, seems like Steele will get to stick around for another round.

Posted by: ThePrincipalChair | March 19, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

No amount of money would save a sinking ship(GOP)
GOP=Gone Over a Precipice

Posted by: yog2541 | March 19, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Giving money to the RNC is probably a worst investment than buying AIG stock.

Posted by: newbeeboy | March 19, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Yup.

Steele makes a lot more money than this, he stays.

Steele makes $5m a month he goes.


Posted by: shrink2 | March 18, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

...speaking of money$$$$$$ CNN just interviewed (live) Chris Dodd and he stated that the Wyden Amendment, forbidding using bailout money to pay executive bonuses, was specifically removed at the request of the Obama White House! So, it appears that our new President (and I voted for him) was the man responsible for this AIG executive bonus explosion. I can't wait for Leno! Can you say SPIN!!!! I hope Leno rips him a new a$$****.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | March 18, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

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