Republican National Committee has huge financial edge heading into 2018 midterms
Michelle Ye Hee Lee & Anu Narayanswamy
February 1, 2018
"President Trump’s robust small-donor base helped the Republican National Committee vastly outraise its Democratic counterpart in 2017 as the two parties geared up for a crucial midterm campaign season, new Federal Election Commission filings show.
"The RNC, the GOP House and Senate party committees and the two main Republican congressional super PACs together raised nearly $289 million in 2017, according to filings and news reports. Donations to the RNC made up nearly half of that total. And 44 percent of the $123 million raised by the RNC came from small-dollar contributions of less than $200.
"The Democratic National Committee trailed far behind its Republican counterpart, raising $64.5 million in 2017.
"Overall, the five Republican groups had about $30 million more in cash on hand than the five Democratic groups combined.
"Republicans are expected to face a tough defensive battle in this year’s congressional elections. Historically, the president’s party generally loses ground during the midterms.
"Still, Trump has galvanized small-dollar contributions from his base into the RNC, and the influx of such donations was key to the RNC’s fundraising haul last year.
"'Our strong fundraising numbers reflect voters’ optimism and continued support as President Trump fulfills his promises to the American people,' RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. 'In his first year, President Trump delivered a historic tax cut to the middle class, slashed regulations and grew our economy. We look forward to electing more Republican leaders to Congress who will support President Trump’s winning agenda on behalf of the American people.'
"Trump entered 2018 with more than $32 million in the coffers of his reelection campaign and two affiliated committees, filings show.
"Independent groups on the right also had a cash advantage.
"The Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC allied with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), and Senate Leadership Fund, the super PAC that backs Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his caucus, together raised about $40 million in 2017 — about $5 million more than their Democratic counterparts.
"In 2018, the Congressional Leadership Fund officials said they plan to focus on promoting the new tax law, calling it essential to maintaining the Republican majority.
"'Every Republican in Congress should be spending their time selling the tax plan, anything else is a waste of time and money,' said Courtney Alexander, Congressional Leadership Fund spokeswoman. 'Convincing the middle class that Republicans cut their taxes is absolutely key to maintaining the majority in 2018.'"
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GOP Fundraising and FEC Filing