Democrats Retain Money Advantage

Apr 21, 2010 4:27pm

ABC News’ David Chalian Reports:  As the national party committees tallied up their fundraising numbers and filed their monthly reports with the Federal Election Commission, it became clear that Democrats have been able to hang on to a financial advantage over the Republicans as we approach the six month mark from Election Day 2010. The combined Democratic cash on hand from the three national party committees (DNC/DSCC/DCCC) totals up to $57.8 million compared to a Republican combined total (RNC/NRSC/NRCC) of $36.3 million, giving the party in power a $21.5 million cash on hand advantage.  (And it is not lost on anyone in Washington circles that more than 75% of that cash on hand advantage is due to the huge DCCC advantage over the NRCC’s money machine.) It isn’t all that surprising, of course, that the party in control of the House, Senate, and White House can emerge victorious in the fundraising battle over the minority party. Republicans are eager to point to the narrower cash on hand advantage Democrats hold over Republicans this cycle than they did at this point last cycle as a sign that momentum and enthusiasm are on their side. At the end of the first quarter in 2008, Democrats had $32 million more in the bank than their GOP counterparts and that was despite the DNC being significantly outraised by the RNC at the time. A former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Rep. Tom Davis, told ABC News’ “Top Line” that party committee money probably won’t have a huge impact in the key races that will end up determining control of Congress. “You have a new Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to come in. A lot of this money is 527 money, this isn't even recorded. You already have high profile people out there raising money to come in as entrants from the outside,” said Davis. “I'm not sure these numbers mean as much as everybody's reading into them because I think there's going to be a lot of outside money going into these midterms. There's going to be a lot energy on the right this time at the grassroots because they're the outside party. So it's going to be very very interesting, but I think at the end of the day in these competitive races money's not going to be a significant advantage,” he added. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Tx., the national finance chairman for the NRCC, told reporters on Tuesday, “I think the first quarter is certainly our best fundraising quarter in the memory of mankind so we feel the trend lines are clearly in the right direction.” Republicans and Democrats alike contend that the passage of health care helped fill their coffers toward the end of the quarter.  "House Democrats' grassroots individual donors are energized by passage of health insurance reform,” a DCCC spokesman told ABC News of the committee’s $9.77 million haul for the month of March. Last week, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, informed Democratic leadership on the Hill that the DNC would be kicking in $50 million to the midterm election effort. In a briefing session with reporters on Tuesday, NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions seemed to suggest he wasn’t expecting such a robust investment from his colleagues at the RNC.  “To the limit of their ability, I’m sure they will help us,” said Sessions.  “We do not have the White House.  We do not own the Senate or the House.  So, we will have to stay after it.”

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