RNC tops $200 million in fundraising ahead of midterms
The Republican National Committee has raised more than $200 million this election cycle, according to an RNC official, the fastest the committee has reached the milestone in a midterm period.
The fundraising achievement, which was expected after the committee came within $900,000 of $200 million last month, is significant for a party that is trying to buck historical norms in 2018. The political party in power traditionally gets rejected at the ballot box two years after they take power, a fact that President Donald Trump has mentioned numerous times in public and private as Republicans prepare for November.
The RNC raised $13.9 million in the month of June — the most it has raised in that month in a non-presidential year — bringing its total fundraising haul to $213 million for the 2017-2018 cycle.
The committee has $50.7 million in the bank and no debt.
The RNC’s numbers will officially be released on Friday when the committee files with the Federal Election Commission.
The RNC haul far eclipses the more than $101 million the Democratic National Committee has raised this cycle, giving the committee upwards of five times the amount of cash-on-hand as the Democrats.
“What I see when I travel the country is that Americans continue to be enthusiastic about President Trump and the Republican agenda,” RNC chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said in a statement. “That enthusiasm has allowed for me to grow our war chest and invest it into what has become the biggest ground game in our Party’s history.”
Despite the excitement McDaniel says she has experienced traveling the country, polling has consistently shown Democrats, motivated by anti-Trump fervor, are more excited to vote in 2018 and see the election as a referendum on the President. That excitement, though, has not turned into a fundraising boon for the DNC.
The DNC raised $67 million in 2017, half of the $132.5 million the RNC raised that year. And, to date, the committee has raised $101 million this cycle, according to a DNC official, a number that pales in comparison to the RNC haul.
The fundraising woes have left the Democrats without much in the bank. According to its last FEC report, the RNC had $47 million in cash on hand, five times as much as the $9 million the Democrats have.
Party Chair Tom Perez, who was tasked with rebuilding a beleaguered DNC after Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016, has tried to focus on fundraising while also investing their smaller war chest in more strategic ways than previous chairs.
“For me, the north star is not can we match them dollar for dollar,” Perez told CNN of the RNC. “It is can we raise the money we need to execute our game plan.”
The DNC under Perez, for example, has spent no money on television ads, something his predecessors did.
McDaniel, who became RNC chair in December 2016, has led the committee’s effort to raise massive sums during the 2018 midterms.
With an eye on investing $250 million into the party’s midterm efforts, McDaniel has spent a bulk of her time traveling from state to state to raise money for the party.