RNC Brings In Record January Haul, Dwarfing Dems' Total
With a fundraising haul that set a January record, Republicans have a lot of money. New figures show the Republican National Committee raised $27.2 million last month, bringing its total this presidential cycle to $268.3 million, easily outdistancing Democrats’ $103.1 million.
For comparison on the GOP side, the last time a Republican president was an incumbent at this stage of the campaign, the RNC raised $107 million in 2004. All this 2020 money makes RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel very happy.
“Record breaking support for this president and his policies continues to grow as we head full force into this presidential election year,” she told RealClearPolitics.
The RNC has burned through some money but has a reserve of $76 million. What’s more, the party doesn’t have a dollar of debt. Meanwhile, President Trump has been raising his own campaign cash since declaring his 2020 intentions the day he took office. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, he has brought in $211 million since then.
Republicans cite these facts with obvious glee, and they invite reporters to contrast their numbers with those of their competitors across town at the Democratic National Committee. According to the Federal Election Commission, the DNC raised $10 million in January. The committee did not return request for comment.
Republicans also have more cash on hand than any of the Democratic candidates lining up for a chance to take on Trump. Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, a self-funding billionaire, comes closest with $55.1 million still in his campaign coffers.
Winning the White House has always been expensive, of course. In 2016 Trump spent $398 million; Hillary Clinton, $768 million. Even then, that total was dwarfed by the 2012 race when Republicans and Democrats spent a combined $1.4 billion competing for the White House. With campaign spending already booming, 2020 is expected to surpass those totals.
Comparing the RNC and DNC ledgers this early is unfair in some ways, given that Republicans can consolidate their cash around the president and Democrats still must spend to compete with one another. Rufus Gifford, President Obama’s fundraising chief and one of the most connected fundraisers on the Democratic side, said as much.
“While we’ll never match dollar for dollar what Trump and the Republicans raise while we are still in the heat of the primary, it again proves the point that … we need to quickly unify as a party,” said Gifford, who is backing former Vice President Joe Biden.
“But we simply must have an aggressive finance operation that leaves no stone unturned. We’ll have to catch up come the spring, and fast,” he told RCP.
Gifford added, “The one true positive I see is that the Republicans have spent $200 million, we have a decent economy, and Trump still can’t break 50% approval. That is a great sign for Dems.”
Another reason for hope for Democrats? Bloomberg.
Even if the billionaire loses the primary, his campaign will likely morph into a sort of outside super PAC to support the nominee.
“Mike Bloomberg is either going to be the nominee or the most important person supporting the Democratic nominee for president,” Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg’s campaign manager, told NBC News. “He is dedicated to getting Trump out of the White House.”
That promise came before Bloomberg was bloodied at Wednesday’s debate in Las Vegas. The moderator asked him that night whether he agreed with Bernie Sanders’ contention that billionaires shouldn’t exist. “All I know is, I’ve been very lucky, made a lot of money and I’m giving it all away to make this country better,” he replied. “A good chunk of it has gone to the Democratic Party.”
If Democrats are going to beat Donald Trump, they have to hope Bloomberg’s checks, and others, keep coming.