Democrats hold vast fundraising advantage as Republicans face cash problems, disarray in crucial swing states
Democrats have started the election year off on a high note with a vast fundraising advantage over their Republican counterparts, who are facing a shortage of cash and party disarray in crucial swing states.
According to year-end reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) this week, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) holds nearly three times the cash on hand reported by the Republican National Committee (RNC), and brought in nearly three times as much fundraising in the final month of 2023.
The RNC reported its worst fundraising year since 2013 raising just $87.2 million in 2023, and starting 2024 with just over $8 million in cash on hand. If adjusted for inflation, the RNC’s fundraising was last this low in 1993 — before the 2002 McCain Feingold Act restricted political committee fundraising from corporations and capped donations from individuals.
The DNC reported $120 million raised in 2023, and a record $21 million in cash on hand, marking a massive $13 million gap between the two committees. It also reported raising $14.7 million in December to the RNC’s $5.3 million.
Although the RNC brought in more direct contributions than the DNC throughout the year, the latter enjoys a joint fundraising agreement with incumbent President Biden’s re-election campaign, as well as its other joint fundraising committees, and overall outpaced the RNC, which does not have a joint fundraising agreement, for much of that period.
Republicans are also dealing with disarray in a number of their party organizations in multiple swing states that will be crucial to the party maintaining, or growing, its majority in the House, winning a majority in the Senate and retaking the White House.
Last week, the now-former chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, Jeff DeWitt, suddenly resigned from the role amid allegations he unsuccessfully tried to bribe GOP Senate candidate Kari Lake not to launch a campaign. The state party also struggled financially throughout last year amid lower contribution levels and hundreds of thousands in legal costs related to the 2020 presidential election.
In Michigan, newly elected state GOP chairman Pete Hoekstra and ousted former chairwoman Kristina Karamo have been battling over who is actually in control of the party, while a number of other state party officials are facing felony charges for their alleged role in a fake electors scheme attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state.
In Nevada, Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald was indicted in a similar fake electors scheme, and in North Carolina, the state Republican Party’s FEC report shows that it burned through cash and is now $72,000 in debt.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on advertising by Republican presidential candidates in an effort to secure the party’s nomination, delaying the party an opportunity to coalesce around a single candidate and focus on the general election.
‘The Republican National Committee has become a financial dumpster fire at a time when they literally cannot afford it,’ DNC spokesperson Alex Floyd told Fox News Digital.
‘With the 2024 field already having blown through millions attacking each other and GOP state parties descending into infighting and heading toward bankruptcy, Republican donors may want to consider just lighting their money on fire themselves rather than wasting time giving it to the RNC,’ he added.
A source familiar with the RNC’s fundraising told Fox News Digital that it raised more than any other Democrat or Republican committee in 2023 except for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) when accounting for direct fundraising and not including transfers from other joint fundraising groups.
The source also said the RNC has already made significant financial investments in staff buildups across 15 battleground states, as well as in early voting and ballot-harvesting initiatives, but did not say whether that was directly related to the party’s low cash on hand.
Fox News reported this week that the RNC raised $12 million in January, more than any month in 2023.
‘The RNC is not only raising the necessary funds, but we’re making strategic investments early in battlegrounds to win up and down the ballot this Fall,’ an RNC spokesperson told Fox News Digital after publication. ‘Meanwhile, Democrats have an extremely unpopular agenda, no ground game, and a President sleepwalking his way to defeat in November.’
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.