Update: The Democratic National Committee just released its August fundraising numbers. It pulled in a slightly better $4.4 million, but that again ranks among its worst months in recent years.
For the same month, the Republican National Committee raised $7.3 million and increased its cash on hand to $45.8 million.
The below post is from last month.
Tom Perez has been chairman of the Democratic National Committee for about seven months. During that brief tenure, the committee has accounted for three of its 14 worst monthly fundraising reports since Barack Obama was elected president. And its latest month was its worst since Obama was inaugurated more than eight years ago.
The DNC has had problems for years, often badly lagging behind the Republican National Committee in fundraising and struggling under the uneven leadership of Debbie Wasserman Schultz until her ouster last year. But even by its own standards, the start of 2017 has been bad.
After a strong $12.2 million raised in March — the first full month of Perez's chairmanship — fundraising has dried up considerably. The $4.7 million it raised in April was the lowest for that particular month since 2009. The $4.3 million raised in May was the worst for that month since 2003. And now the $3.8 million raised in July is the worst for any month since January 2009.
(For the purposes of this analysis, we're including only monthly reports and not year-end reports that come after elections, when both parties tend to see fundraising come to a standstill.)
On one level, a dropoff of some kind might have been expected; Democrats no longer have an incumbent president to help them raise money, after all. But Democrats also have the benefit of a uniquely powerful political boogeyman to raise money against. And in fact, while the DNC has struggled, House and Senate Democrats' campaign committees have actually narrowly outraised their GOP counterparts.
Notably, the DNC is also bleeding money rather than building up a war chest with which to fight the 2018 election. The DNC's cash on hand has dropped from more than $10 million when Perez took over to less than $7 million today. The committee has also seen its debts rise to $3.4 million. Combining its cash on hand with its debt, the DNC was $7.4 million in the black shortly after Perez took over at the end of February and is now just $3.4 million in the black. (This is the red “net money” line in the below chart.)
For comparison's sake, here's what the Republican National Committee's balance sheet looks like this year. It has raised at least $9.5 million each month and carries no debt. Its cash on hand has risen from about $37 million in January to $47.1 million today — more than 13 times the net money that the DNC has available.
On top of Perez's ill-advised comments about how Democrats had to support abortion rights a few months ago — something other Democratic leaders quickly rebuffed — it suggests the DNC hasn't really righted the ship after Wasserman Schultz's rocky tenure.