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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House 2010: The Money Chase

Not sure how the Republicans are supposed to retake the House if the Democrats have more than five times more money in the bank than they do.

The DCCC, like its GOP counterpart, spent more than it took in during Oct., thanks to the expensive NY-23 special election. Still, it outraised the NRCC, as the Dem cmte took in $3.8M last month. It also outspent the NRCC, shelling out nearly $4M (about $1.1M of which aided now-Rep. Bill Owens' (D) winning campaign).

While the DCCC has more debt than the NRCC ($3.3M-$2M), it has a huge cash-on-hand edge. At the end of Oct., the DCCC had $14.5M in the bank, while the NRCC lagged with just $4.2M.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had a net $12.2 million in the bank as of the end of October; the National Republican Congressional Committee had a net $2.2 million in the bank at the time. This means that, as of the latest reading, the DCCC had more than 5.5 times more money on hand than did the NRCC.

When the Democrats sought to retake the House in 2006, cash management played no small role in their success. Indeed, by the summer before election day, the DCCC managed to stockpile more cash in the bank than the NRCC, a nearly unprecedented achievement to that point.

The NRCC is doing better than it was doing at this point in the 2008 cycle, when the committee was still running a net deficit. Nevertheless, until the GOP is able to make up this major disadvantage on the House side, undoing the Democrats' more than 5.5-to-1 lead in campaign cash, it's not at all clear to me how they are supposed to mount the type of effort that could possibly retake the House in 2010 (even leaving aside generic ballot numbers that show them continuing to trail nationwide).

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A Slow Fundraising Start for 2010

On the House side of the ledge, the Democrats far outpaced the GOP:

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reported raising $3.5 million and the National Republican Congressional Committee took in $2 million in February, according to reports that the two House campaign organizations filed on Friday with the Federal Election Commission.

The DCCC, which is defending a Democratic majority that presently includes 254 seats (there are three vacancies in Democratic-held districts), spent $2.6 million in February and began this month with $2.9 million left to spend. The NRCC spent $1.3 million and had $1.9 million cash-on-hand.

The Senate fundraising numbers look much closer:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee will report that it raised $2.87 million in February, matching its Democratic counterpart in fundraising while using much of the money to pay down its debt.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee also raised $2.87 million, ending the month with $3.7 million in its campaign account. It still holds $10.9 million in debt from last cycle and didn't pay any of it off over the past month.

The NRSC now has $1.05 million cash on hand at the end of February, with $2.7 million outstanding in debt. Last month, the committee held more than $4 million in debt. The NRSC's fundraising total is up significantly from last month, when it raised just $1.8 million.

On the national numbers, the GOP came out on top:

The Democratic National Committee raised $3.2 million in February, a strikingly low take for a financial juggernaut led by President Barack Obama and his legions of grass-roots supporters who helped him shatter campaign fundraising records.

Even the committee's Republican counterpart raised more -- $5.1 million -- last month and did so under more difficult circumstances. The GOP was coming off of a disastrous election in which it lost the White House and saw its numbers in Congress shrink further. New GOP chairman Michael Steele also had a rocky start.

[...]

The DNC reported $8.6 million on hand and $7 million in debt, while the RNC reported $24 million in the bank and no debt.

The DNC numbers aren't entirely surprising given that party chairman Tim Kaine was not fundraising while the Virginia legislature was in session, as well as the decision not to hold a fundraiser featuring the President until this month. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a significant difference on this front when the March numbers are released.

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DCCC running radio ads against 28 House Republicans

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is running radio ads in 28 Congressional districts held by Republicans:

The ads focus on the Republicans out of step priorities by putting bank bail outs and building schools in Iraq before the needs of the Americans in the struggling economy. The Putting Families First ads begin airing on Tuesday morning during drive time and will run for a week.

In addition to the strategic radio ads in 28 Republican districts, the DCCC will also begin a grassroots initiative which includes targeted e-mails to 3 million voters and nearly 100,000 person-to-person telephone calls.

House Republicans just don't get it.  They celebrate being the party of no and status quo, while more than 2.6 million Americans have lost their jobs, the stock market has plummeted wiping out nearly $7 trillion stock market wealth and endangering thousands of investors' nest eggs, and one in 10 homeowners was delinquent on mortgage payments or in foreclosure this fall.

"These are serious times, hard working families are worried about keeping their jobs, health care and homes - they want action, not House Republicans cheering about doing nothing," said Brian Wolff, Executive Director of the DCCC. "Republicans' champagne wishes and caviar dreams simply don't connect with middle class families struggling to make ends meet and furious that their tax dollars are going to bail out banks, build schools in Iraq, or send American jobs overseas.  The Putting Families First campaign is only the first step, we will continue to go district by district to hold Republicans who continue to vote in lockstep with party leaders and against the folks in their districts accountable."

There are several versions of the ad, all featuring elements of the economic stimulus bill (click here for transcripts). Here is one focusing on the education angle:

Did you know Congressman Thad McCotter opposed over $526 million to modernize crumbling Michigan schools, but supported building new schools in Iraq?  Times are tough, tell Thad McCotter to put American jobs first.

If you've heard any of these radio ads, please post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) to let me know where you are and what issue it covered.

There is a lot of overlap between the 28 districts where DCCC ads are running and this list of the 20 most vulnerable House Republicans going into 2010, which Crisitunity compiled at Swing State Project last month. However, there are a handful of Republicans on Crisitunity's list who are not (yet) being targeted by the DCCC's ad campaign.

Conversely, the ads are running in some districts where the incumbents may not seem vulnerable at first glance. Tom Latham did not make Crisitunity's list after he won re-election by more than 20 points in November, despite the fact that Barack Obama carried Iowa's fourth district. However, the DCCC is running ads in IA-04 and clearly has not ruled out making a serious play for this district in 2010.

It's worth noting that Bruce Braley (IA-01) is now the DCCC's vice chair responsible for "offensive efforts including recruitment, money, and training."

Taking out Latham in 2010 would make it highly likely for Iowa Democrats to hold three out of the four Congressional districts we will have after the next census. Even if we don't beat him in 2010, running a strong campaign against Latham could bring down his favorables and improve our chances of holding IA-03 if that district includes Story County in 2012.

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