As the 2018 midterm elections near, Democratic National Committee (DNC) fundraising is in big trouble, with federal records showing an anemic $400,000 in its party coffers, while the GOP reportedly has $39 million in cash on hand.
Ever since President Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, the DNC’s fundraising fiasco has persisted. The crisis began with the email scandal that revealed the committee most likely rigged Clinton’s victory over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), which forced DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation.
Not enough money to clean House?
In other words, the numbers released by the Federal Election Commission filings are looking bleak for the Democrats – especially if they are still hopeful of recapturing a majority in the House.
“In [the] last reporting period of 2017, the DNC received $5.21 million, while spending $4.98 million,” TheBlaze reported. “At the close of 2017, the DNC had $6.53 million in cash on hand, while having $6.1 million in debt. Overall, subtracting debts, the DNC is working with just $422,582. In total, the DNC raised $65.5 million in 2017, but spent $69.9 million.”
Other questionable maneuverings by the Democratic Party may have significantly contributed to its financial crisis today.
“[T]he selection in February 2017 of former Obama administration official Tom Perez to replace Wasserman Schultz, over Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, sparked discord about the party continuing to hew to its establishment power base,” Fox News pointed out. “More recently, the DNC has emerged as a key figure in the Russia collusion investigation, amid revelations it helped fund the so-called ‘anti-Trump’ dossier that apparently led, at least in part, to the start of the probe.”
Discounting the Democrats’ pre-election financial turmoil, party officials attribute the lack of funds to the trend of donors being less prone to contributing their funds to the DNC and other monolithic groups, such as its competitor, the Republican National Committee (RNC). They further claim that Republican incumbents are behind their Democratic rivals in fundraising in dozens of House races.
“Democratic candidates across the country are out-hustling and out-organizing Republican incumbents – many of whom have not faced a competitive challenge in a very long time and are struggling to find those old campaign muscles,” insisted the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) on Friday, according to Fox News.
GOP doubling up on Dems
Despite their optimism, numbers are not on the Democrats’ side, and Republicans appear to be sitting pretty financially with the upcoming elections.
“[T]he DNC’s money woes come at critical time, as it tries to retake the House and mount a longshot bid to retake the Senate,” Fox News’ Joseph Weber asserted. “The RNC raised $132 million through last year (double the DNC’s $66 million) which, along with group’s minimal cash, led The Intercept reporter Ryan Grim – among the first to report the story – to tweet that the DNC is ‘dead broke.’”
Grim’s assessment on Twitter of the Democrats’ status heading into the midterms dismantles much of the DNC’s optimistic outlook.
“The Intercept’s Ryan Grim noted on Twitter last week the DNC is in such poor financial health that the organization currently has to borrow money to make payroll and can’t afford to pay its rent,” The Blaze’s Chris Enloe recounted. “The DNC refuted this, but Grim explained the party would be operating in the red if it wasn’t borrowing to meet its basic needs.”
Yet Democrats appear to be feigning confidence, anticipating victories similar to what they experienced before the Obama administration.
“Democratic Party aides said in response to the new numbers that the DNC’s 2017 haul was more than what the party raised in previous off-election years, including the year ahead of the 2006 midterms, when Democrats regained control of Congress and years when former President Barack Obama helped raise money,” Weber noted.
The left-leaning mainstream media also chipped in its optimism in the midst of the Democrat’s bleak financial status heading to the midterms, claiming that the lack of funds reflects an “unusual problem” of an over-exuberant and over-crowded playing field of Democratic candidates.
“An unprecedented surge of competitors running for Congress – many of them women, many of them first-timers – may actually complicate the party’s quest to retake the House,” Time.com reported. “More candidates means more crowded primaries, and crowded primaries means Democratic candidates will spend precious time and money fighting other Democrats instead of Republican incumbents.”
The argument was made that it is the excitement of Democrats – not disillusionment with the Democratic Party platform and a lack of support for its candidates and stances on issues – that is draining the party’s funds.
“Democrats risk being choked by their own enthusiasm as Republicans calmly glide towards the general elections,” Time.com’s Charlotte Alter insisted. “Most grassroots groups have been so focused on recruiting and training progressive candidates that they haven’t given much thought to how those candidates might cannibalize one another’s campaigns.”
She argues that packed primaries are draining Democrats’ coffers, dampening morale and eating up votes in key states – such as California – where there are so-called “jungle primaries,” where the top two finishers, regardless of their party, compete against each other in the general election … a trend she says could help Republicans retain their seats in the House.
National Republican Congressional Chairman Steve Stivers believes there could be some truth to this in the California race to replace retiring Republican Darrell Issa.
“While Democrats fight with each other, Republicans will focus on fighting Democrats – and that’s how we plan to win,” Stivers told The Hill. “We look forward to facing whoever limps out of the Democrats’ battle royale: black and blue, and broke.”
Republicans on a roll
Even though numbers in the final 2017 reporting period divulge that Republican fundraising was at $11.1 million, while it spent $12.1 million, the GOP appeared to be financially on top of things at year’s end – being debt-free … as opposed to the Democrats, who are debt-laden.
“At the close of 2017, the [Republican] [P]arty had $38.8 million cash on hand and $0 in debt,” Enloe informed. “Overall, as the primary and general election season begins to heat-up later this year, Republicans appear to be in a great position to keep control of Congress.”
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