Money and the 2010 Midterms

A bit of cold water for those who think the outcome of the 2010 midterms has already been decided, with the Republicans set to retake one or both Houses of the Congress.

The top 3 Dem campaign committees have outraised their GOP rivals, adding to a financial gap that some on the GOP side believe could rob them of opportunities come Nov.

The DSCC will report having raised $6M in March, barely higher than the NRSC's $5.14M raised. The DSCC also has a narrow cash on hand advantage, with $17M in the bank versus the NRSC's $15M.

Also this month, the DNC outraised the RNC by a $13M to $11M margin. Earlier today, the DCCC announced it would file reports showing it had outraised the NRCC, $9.77M to $8M.

Both the DCCC and the DSCC have paid off all their debt. The DNC still had $3.7M in obligations at the end of last month, though they have yet to report a debt figure this month. None of the GOP committees have showed a debt for months.

Looking deeper into the numbers, specifically into those relating to the House of Representatives, which is viewed as more tenuously in the hands of the Democrats than the Senate, the party in power now holds a $26 million to $10 million cash-on-hand advantage over the challenging Republicans. What does this mean? The national Democrats now have the capability to play in 2 1/2 times more seats than the national Republicans. While this financial disparity isn't assured to remain through November, the fact that the Democrats continue to raise more than their Republican counterparts suggests that all of the talk of the House already having been all but lost for the Democrats might be a bit overblown.

Dem Committees Have 75% More in Bank than GOP

If the Republicans think they have a shot at retaking either the House or the Senate in 2010, their current bank accounts strongly disagree.

According to Hotline on Call, the Republican National Committee under Michael Steele has been hemorrhaging money -- from $22.8 million in the bank at the beginning of the year to just $8.75 million on hand as of the end of November, the point through which the present reports are current. The Democratic National Committee holds a similar $8.3 million in the bank after debt.

But while the RNC has still been able to hold on to a small edge over its Democratic counterpart (albeit a rapidly narrowing one), the GOP's congressional campaign committees have not been so lucky. (For more on this, check out desmoinesdem's post from yesterday.)

In the race for the House in 2010, which the Republicans are thought to have a relatively better shot at, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee holds a $13 million to $2 million cash-on-hand advantage. On the Senate side, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee leads the National Republican Senatorial Committee $10.2 million to $7.3 million in available money.

All told, the Democratic campaign committees have a net $31.5 million in the bank, as compared with the $18.05 million held by the GOP committees -- a 75% advantage for the Democrats. Yet unclear is an explanation of how this deficit is supposed to augur well for Republican hopes of reclaiming one or both chambers of Congress in 2010.

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DCCC outraises NRCC again in November

Josh Kraushaar reported for the Politico on Friday that the "National Republican Congressional Committee is getting clobbered by their Democratic counterparts on the fundraising front":

The DCCC raised $3.65 million for the month, and ended November with $15.35 million cash-on-hand. It still holds $2.66 million in debt from last election cycle.

The NRCC only raised $2.34 million in November, and spent $2.16 million, hardly adding to their overall cash total. The committee now has $4.35 million in its account, while still owing $2 million in debt.

I am feeling rather pessimistic about next year's House races, but if the NRCC can't build up a decent war chest now, with unemployment high and support for health care reform sinking, I don't see them putting together a huge wave. They're talking about targeting dozens of seats, but they're a long way from having the money to fund that many challengers.

On the other hand, they do seem to have a more enthusiastic base.  

The National Republican Senatorial Committee did somewhat better last month, raising $3.3 million while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $3.0 million. The DSCC still has more cash on hand than the NRSC, but not nearly as big an advantage as the House Democrats have over the House Republicans.

I suspect that the repeated Democratic concessions on the health care bill have hurt the DSCC's fundraising this fall.

Update [2009-12-20 18:23:20 by desmoinesdem]: Swing State Project posted a chart with the November numbers, including the RNC and the DNC. The RNC raised more than the DNC last month but spent more than they raised.

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MA-Sen: Will the NRSC Pony Up for Scott Brown?

If the NRSC had its druthers, the establishment candidate for the Republicans in the upcoming special election for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts would be a former statewide elected official (former Gov. Mitt Romney, former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, former Gov. Paul Cellucci), someone with previous prominent governmental experience (former Presidential Chief of Staff Andrew Card, former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan), a prominent businessperson who could self-fund (former Carruth Capital president Christopher Egan), or a politically conservative celebrity (retired Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling).  It looks like none of these will be represented in the Republican establishment candidate.

It appears that the GOP establishment is coalescing around Republican state sen. Scott Brown.  Andrew Card even endorsed Brown as he announced that he would not be a candidate.  The only other Republicans to have expressed interest are Bob Burr, a Selectman from the town of Canton, Massachusetts' 85th most populous municipality, and Jack E. Robinson, who almost finished third (barely a percentage point ahead of the Libertarian candidate) in the 2000 U.S. Senate race.  So, barring a surprise candidacy, Scott Brown will be the Republican nominee.

Brown is one of only five Republican state senators in the forty-person body (to go along with only 19 Republicans in the 160-person body).  One could look at that and say that a Republican has no shot in overwhelmingly Democratic Massachusetts.  Another could look at that and say that Brown wins where other Republicans might not.

Which is the correct way to look at it?  Let's ask the National Republican Senatorial Committee.  Should anybody in Massachusetts think that Brown has even an outside chance to win?  Well, if the NRSC - the Republican campaign committee whose sole focus is electing Republicans to the U.S. Senate (i.e. they who should be Brown's biggest cheerleader) - publicly commits to ponying up serious cash for the special election (serious being at least $1 million), then Republicans and right-leaning independents can at least take heart that Washington D.C. is taking this race seriously.  However, if the NRSC will not publicly commit to spending a cool million or more in Massachusetts in support of Brown's candidacy, that means that they're writing it off.  If the Republican campaign committee whose sole focus is electing Republicans to the U.S. Senate writes Brown off, why shouldn't Massachusetts voters write Brown off?

So, ladies and gents of the NRSC, which is it?  A public commitment to spending serious dough in Massachusetts, or writing off the race altogether?  (At the very least, maybe the NRSC can hook Brown up with a better graphic designer.)

For daily news and analysis on the U.S. Senate races around the country, regularly read Senate Guru.

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DSCC Outraises the NRSC in April

The latest numbers, per Roll Call (subscription required):

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is set to report that it raised $2.93 million in April and that it is now debt-free after beginning the cycle more than $4 million in the red.

The committee now has nearly $2.7 million in cash on hand.

Meanwhile, after beginning the 2010 cycle $11 million in the red, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee made a major push to pay off its debt in April. The DSCC paid down more than $6 million in debt last month and ended April with $4.58 million in debt.

The DSCC raised $3.1 million during April. As of April 30, the DSCC had $2.6 million in cash on hand.

The NRSC's April haul totaled $1.1 million more than what the committee raised in April 2007, but it is less than the nearly $5 million it raised in March.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee came into this cycle with significantly more debt on hand than the National Republican Senatorial Committee -- but I would imagine that few Democrats would begrudge the committee for this fact considering that the party picked up eight Senate seats in 2008. So even though the DSCC still has more debt than it has cash-on-hand at this juncture, while the NRSC has made its way into the black for the cycle, these numbers are actually fairly for the committee. And with the DSCC outraising the NRSC, even by a relatively narrow margin, the trajectory for the committee, as well as the party's hopes to grow its majority in the Senate more broadly, certainly looks good.

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