DNC, Obama campaign millions in debt, RNC in the clear, according to reports

The Democratic National Committee is carrying $21 million in debt — a contrast to its Republican counterpart, which enters the 2014 election cycle with no obligations, according to disclosure reports filed last night with the Federal Election Commission.

President Obama's campaign was also in the red, with $5.8 million in debt and $3.3 million cash on hand.

“The RNC now enters 2013 without any debt, allowing us to move forward on a solid financial footing," Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. "With the continued support of our donors and sound financial stewardship, we will move swiftly to renew our party and grow our ranks so that we can win more elections — in 2013, 2014 and beyond.”

Republicans clearly have a financial edge at the moment, but Democrats have a key advantage going forward: the office of the presidency and Obama himself, one of the greatest political fundraisers of all time, who was able to raise more than $1 billion for his reelection, largely by convincing millions of people to donate in small amounts.

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Rachel Weiner · February 1, 2013