Republican donors give GOP committees the Scrooge treatment

Here’s a cheery holiday thought: Republican campaign committees are sucking wind heading into 2024.

Atop the crumbling GOP pyramid sits the Republican National Committee with just $9,956,381 cash on hand at the end of November (the Democratic National Committee ended October with $17.7 million cash on hand). RNC staffers are tightening their belts and searching for answers with no relief in sight.

As Daily Kos’ Joan McCarter noted last month, the RNC’s desperate straits really come into focus when comparing today’s numbers to those of recent years.

The Republican National Committee had roughly $63 million cash on hand in 2019 heading into the last presidential cycle. Yikes.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which struggled to keep pace with candidate needs in the 2022 midterms, closed out November with $7,722,053 cash on hand, less than half what the committee had heading into the 2020 presidential cycle and less than a third of its holdings at the end of November in 2020 and 2021, before Sen. Rick Scott took over and nearly bankrupted the group.

For comparison, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ended November with $17.1 million cash on hand.

Screenshot showing the NRSC's end of November cash on hand figures for the following years: 2019, $18 million; 2020, $36.8 million; 2021, $30.1 million; 2022, $10.6 million; 2023, $7.7 million.

The one GOP committee that isn’t a total shambles is the National Republican Campaign Committee, which benefited much of the year from the fundraising savvy of ousted leader Kevin McCarthy.

Last month, the NRCC announced bringing in a record $9 million haul, beating its 2021 off-year November record by nearly $2 million, according to The Hill. The NRCC reported ending November with $41.4 million cash on hand, rather comparably situated to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s $48.8 cash on hand.

Why these figures matter is twofold: 1) a cash haul or lack thereof can be an indication of the level of enthusiasm for a party and its candidates; and 2) if a party’s candidates turn into fundraising duds, like the GOP’s crop of Senate candidates last year, the committees play a vital role in making up the shortfall—or not, as in the case of Scott’s NRSC during the ’22 midterm cycle.

And we all know how that turned out: Senate Democrats managed to pick up a seat in a cycle that heavily favored Republicans according to historical trends.

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We’re celebrating an amazing 2023 by revisiting all of the year’s best elections on this week’s episode of The Downballot! January kicked us off with a huge special election flip for Democrats in the Virginia Senate that set the tone for the rest of the year—and made it clear that abortion would remain the most potent issue driving voters to the ballot box. We saw that again and again, from the Wisconsin Supreme Court race to Issue 1 in Ohio to the other Issue 1 in Ohio and even to the governor’s race in deep-red Kentucky. The safest bet you can make is that we’ll see more of the same in 2024.

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