Two of three Democratic national campaign committees outraised their Republican counterparts last month and now carry sizable cash-on-hand advantages, according to figures released by the committees.
The Democratic National Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised and banked more cash in May than their GOP counterparts, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee lagged behind the National Republican Congressional Committee. Their monthly reports were due to the Federal Election Commission on Monday.
As the Republican National Committee works to recover from high spending in the 2010 cycle, the DNC continues to be in far better financial shape, thanks in part to the president’s fundraising abilities.
The DNC raised $10.5 million last month, including a $6.5 million transfer from the Obama Victory Fund — a joint fundraising account split between the DNC and President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. Obama’s campaign gets the first $5,000 of an individual contribution to the account, and the DNC gets the rest.
The DNC now has $16.5 million on hand while carrying $13.5 million in debt. The RNC raised $6.2 million last month and ended May with $6.1 million on hand. The committee, which started the cycle with the most debt, has $18.5 million in remaining debt. That’s after paying down $6 million so far this year — including $500,000 last month.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who is trying to bring back major donors that defected last cycle during the tenure of then-Chairman Michael Steele, promised that the RNC “will have the resources to turn back the failed leadership of Barack Obama and return a Republican majority to the U.S. Senate in 2012.”
As for the Senate committees, the DSCC topped the National Republican Senatorial Committee by $1 million in May, bringing in $4.1 million to the NRSC’s $3.1 million.
The DSCC has raised $18.6 million so far this cycle, and the NRSC has brought in $17.7 million. The DSCC began June with $7.8 million, and the NRSC had $1.8 million. The NRSC, however, has paid off all of its remaining debt from the previous cycle, making it the first national party committee to do so. The DSCC, which owed $4.3 million at the end of April, did not release its current debt figure.
Senate Democrats attributed the May fundraising discrepancy to a message victory on Medicare, calling it a “game changer.”
“It is helping motivate Democratic donors in every corner of the country, helping us out raise the Republicans and surpass our own fundraising goals,” DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans touted being debt free and able to focus solely on 2012. In a statement to Roll Call, NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh said: “Strengthening the NRSC’s finances has been a top priority for [NRSC Chairman John] Cornyn since the moment he took this job, and we’re pleased to be the first national committee to be debt-free this cycle. Every dollar raised will go directly to winning back a Senate Republican majority in 2012.”
The NRSC has surpassed its fundraising performance by $5 million compared with this point in the 2008 presidential cycle. By comparison, the DSCC is off pace from the same point in the previous presidential cycle. It had already raised more than $22 million through May 2007.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.