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With little more than a year remaining until the midterm elections that will decide control of Congress for the last two years of President Joe Biden’s term, House Democrats’ campaign arm has only a slight edge over its’ GOP counterpart in fundraising.
Boosted by what it described as a best-ever September fundraising performance in a non-election year – with $14.5 million in receipts last month – the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday announced that its fundraising haul for the third quarter of 2021 reached $35.8 million, besting the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Q3 total by $10 million.
The DCCC also reported roughly $62 million in cash-on-hand, an amount the committee says is $26 million more than what its accounts held at the same point in the 2019-2020 election cycle.
In a statement, DCCC Chair Sean Patrick Maloney said Democrats are beating their GOP counterparts in fundraising because their supporters “know just how dangerous it would be for the country if Republicans were in charge”.
“The stakes are high and we believe voters will reject their dangerous vision for America, which is about pushing junk science while Americans die despite access to life-saving vaccines, openly attacking our elections, and allowing women’s rights to be rolled away,” Mr Maloney said. “House Democrats and Speaker Pelosi have stood firm in our fight building a more prosperous and inclusive nation and American voters see that”.
It is not unusual for the party in control of the House to have an edge on fundraising in non-election years, but with the midterm elections a year out, which party is raising more money isn’t necessarily a reliable indicator of whether that party will be able to retain control of the House.
According to Federal Election Commission records, the DCCC also bested its GOP opponent in fundraising during the third quarter of 2009, the last non-election year when Democrats controlled the presidency, House, and Senate.
Yet a year later, Republicans easily won control of the House, with many GOP candidates backed by the insurgent Tea Party movement.
Such a reversal could be in the works in 2022 as well. One indication? Some top Democrats – most notably House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth of Kentucky – are choosing to not seek re-election.
NRCC Chair Tom Emmer noted the unusual number of retirements for a majority party in a statement announcing his committee’s fundraising haul.
“House Democrats are sprinting toward the exits because they know their days in the majority are numbered and we look forward to keeping up the pressure,” Mr Emmer said.