Democrats Outraise Republicans for First Time in 17 Months

Monday, 21 Oct 2013 01:58 PM

By Andrea Billups

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Democrats have outpaced Republicans in fundraising for the first time in about 17 months, barely edging them in September by $300,000.

The Republican National Committee on Sunday reported raising $7.1 million in September, while the Democratic National Committee said it raised close to $7.4 million, reports Politico.

The figures offer a glimpse at how the run-up to the federal government shutdown played out in each party, as they sought to energize their bases in the fight over healthcare and spending playing out divisively in Congress.

The Democrats' fundraising victory marked the first time in 17 months that the party bested Republicans, The Wall Street Journal also noted. But the newspaper stressed that the RNC's $11.2 million cash on hand is more than twice what the DNC has in the bank,

Despite the slight revenue falloff, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus seemed happy with the take.

"It's because of the strong support of our donors that we are able to build a permanent ground operation and ensure a year-round presence in communities all across America," he said in a statement.

Republicans have maintained a consistent stream of fundraising all year, even as they fell behind in September, raising a total of $60.9 million so far versus the $47 million posted by Democrats, Politico reported.

The news publication called it the "worst off-year fundraising drought" for the Democrats since the new campaign finance law went into effect.

Republicans are also in a better position than the Democrats heading into the midterm elections. Nearly all of the party's debt from the 2012 election cycle has been retired, while the Democrats are still struggling to get rid of $17.5 million in outstanding debts on its books.

A flurry of email fundraising messages ahead of the government shutdown that began Oct. 1 accounted for a good portion of the Democrats' take in September. The emails carrying the appeals of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden criticizing attempts by Republicans to gut Obamacare and force a shutdown, netted $850,000 from 30,000 donors in one day alone.

The haul marked the Democrats' biggest-single-day take since the 2012 election, the Journal reported, noting that 6,537 contributors were first-time party donors.

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