DSCC Tops in 2nd Quarter Fundraising

Posted July 7, 2004 at 6:13pm

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised its Republican counterparts by a 2-to-1 margin in June and by roughly $4 million from April 1 to June 30, marking the first quarter it has “won” the fundraising race in the 2004 cycle.

The DSCC brought in $15 million — including nearly $8 million in June alone — to the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s $11 million, according to the committees’ July quarterly reports. The NRSC raked in roughly $4 million last month.

Still, the NRSC had roughly $6 million more left in the bank at the end of last month. The DSCC also had $365,000 in debt at the end of the quarter; the NRSC carried no debt.

In the cycle to date, the NRSC has raised just more than $50 million compared to $49 million for the DSCC.

DSCC spokeswoman Cara Morris said the most recent fundraising numbers are a “clear example that the momentum in the Senate races continues to go in Democrats’ direction.”

Morris noted that in the past three months, Republican Senate primaries have heated up in Alaska, Florida and Oklahoma while GOPers lost their candidate in Illinois and have yet to select a replacement.

Dan Allen, communications director for the NRSC, said the committee is in “good shape to have an impact on the races that will decide the makeup of the Senate.”

Much of the NRSC’s time has been devoted to raising funds for the July 21 President’s Dinner, which is expected to be the largest windfall for the committee this year, Allen said.

Last year’s dinner, which featured President Bush, raked in $8 million for the NRSC.

Nonetheless, Senate Democrats can rightly claim victory in the fundraising arena over the past three months, a showing that stands in stark contrast to its near insolvency at the end of 2003.

At the end of last year, the DSCC reported $2.5 million on hand and $2.5 million in debt.

Since that time, Democrats have gotten several good breaks, most notably the surprise retirement announcement of Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) in early March.

Campbell’s departure created a hotly contested open-seat race in which the likely Democratic candidate has an early edge in polling over the two potential Republicans.

The DSCC’s strong fundraising showing comes thanks to several large events featuring Senators as well as a May e-mail solicitation by Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), the newly minted vice presidential nominee.

Edwards’ signed e-mail for the DSCC delivered the largest response in the history of the committee, Morris said, though she would not provide an estimate of how much money the solicitation raised.

The addition of the North Carolina Senator to the national ticket Tuesday “will only help us continue [our] momentum throughout the summer,” she said.

In the final week of June, the DSCC hosted an event in Washington, D.C., honoring the five Senate Democrats retiring in 2004, and followed that up with a fundraiser six days later in New York featuring DSCC Chairman Jon Corzine (N.J.), Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) and Tom Carper (Del.), and Vermont’s Independent Senator, Jim Jeffords.

An additional $1.5 million came into the DSCC in the period from the nine joint fundraising agreements the committee has with candidates in targeted Senate races. Under Federal Election Commission rules, a donor can write a single check that is divvied up between the campaign committee and the candidate.

The DSCC has these agreements in California, Washington, Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Missouri, Oregon and South Carolina.