The Republican National Committee raised $8.17 million last month, surpassing the Democratic National Committee’s $5.5 million and registering its best August ever for a nonelection year, according to RNC officials.
The RNC finished August, traditionally a slow fundraising month, with $9.3 million in cash on hand and $15.9 million in debt. The DNC’s August haul was reported Monday by Reuters, which attributed Democratic officials as suggesting that the committee’s low numbers were a result of President Barack Obama’s focus on reaching a deal with Republicans on the debt ceiling.
Republican officials dismissed those claims, crediting the RNC’s August total to surging support among conservative activists and major donors as well as Chairman Reince Priebus’ national finance strategy.
Republican officials said the $8.17 million raised came from a mixture of small and large donors, adding that the committee did not make any unusual push for contributions last month.
“For an August, this is tremendous,” one GOP official said.
The RNC last month spent $6.4 million, including paying off more than $1 million in debt, while adding $1.73 million to its banked cash. When Priebus took over as RNC chairman in mid-January, the RNC had more than $20 million in debt from the 2010 election cycle.
The DNC declined to reveal the fundraising numbers it will file with the Federal Election Commission later this month. But its fundraising to date in 2011 has been far superior to the RNC; even its cash on hand as of July 30, $20.1 million, dwarfed the $9.3 million in cash the RNC had accumulated as of Aug. 31.
DNC officials declined to comment for this story.