Major Donors Lift Democratic National Committee: Campaign Update
(Bloomberg) -- The Democratic National Committee raised $8.5 million in June, spent $7.5 million, and ended the month with $9.3 million cash on hand according to its latest filing with Federal Election Commission.
After two straight months of deficit spending, the DNC was in the black for June, but still carries debts of $5.7 million including loans and unpaid invoices to vendors. The Republican National Committee, which is due to file on Saturday, said it had $43.5 million in the bank at the end of June and no debts. The president’s party usually has a financial advantage, especially while the opposition is focused on choosing its nominee.
The DNC got help from some big Democratic donors in June. James Simons, founder of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, gave $355,000, Centerbridge Partners LP co-founder Mark Gallogly gave $102,500, and Penny Pritzker, who served as Commerce secretary during President Barack Obama’s second term, gave $100,000.
Small-dollar donors, those giving $200 or less, contributed $2.1 million. The DNC has enlisted its presidential candidates to appeal to grassroots donors with email pitches, splitting the proceeds between their campaigns and the party.
Collectively, the 22 Democratic presidential campaigns brought in $131.6 million in the second quarter, topping President Donald Trump and the RNC. But while Democrats battle each other for the nomination, Trump is already preparing for the general election.
Democratic Fundraising Group Lagging GOP’s
The Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund, which raises money for the Democratic National Committee and its state parties, took in $980,000 in June, according to its latest filing with the Federal Election Commission.
The DNC created Grassroots Victory in 2017 to bring in big money -- it can accept checks of as much as $865,000 from individuals -- but it raised just $2.1 million in the second quarter.
By contrast, Trump Victory, which raises money from large donors for the Republican National Committee and Trump’s campaign, brought in $29.1 million over the same period.
The DNC is also lagging the RNC.
Aided by Trump, the GOP took in $76.4 million for 2019 through May, and had $37 million in the bank with no debt. The DNC had receipts of $35.4 million, including $3 million in loans, and spent $35.7 million. It ended May with $8.3 million in the bank and total debt, including loans and payments owed to vendors, of $6 million.
U.S. Spy Chief Names Head of Election Security
Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats named a career intelligence official to a new post in charge of coordinating the government’s response to threats against the U.S. election system.
Coates said Shelby Pierson, who served as his election security crisis manager for the 2018 midterm election, will serve as the executive overseeing election security work across U.S. intelligence agencies and departments.
“Election security is an enduring challenge and a top priority” for the intelligence community, Coats said in a statement. “In order to build on our successful approach to the 2018 elections, the IC must properly align its resources to bring the strongest level of support to this critical issue.”
He directed all intelligence agencies to select a single senior-executive to as a point-person on election security issues. They will form a new Election Executive and Leadership Board run by Pierson. -- Emma Kinery
Beto O’Rourke Unveils New Social Security Plan
Beto O’Rourke announced a plan Friday that he said would strengthen retirement security for Americans and address gender and racial gaps in Social Security benefits.
Under the plan, which is part of O’Rourke’s broader Social Security policy proposal, Americans who leave the workforce to care for a child under age 12 or a family member who needs help performing daily activities would get a credit to calculate future Social Security benefits equal to 50% of the average earnings of a full-time year round worker.
“Americans shouldn’t be forced to sacrifice their retirement security when they take time off from work to raise children, care for an aging parent or support a family member living with disabilities,” O’Rourke said in an emailed statement.
The plan builds on legislation proposed by Representative Nita Lowey and Senator Chris Murphy. -- Giovanna Bellotti Azevedo
Voter Interest High in 2020 Presidential Race
The 2020 presidential election is getting more attention and interest from voters at this early point in the campaign cycle than other recent White House contests, according to polling by the Pew Research Center in Washington.
A little more than half -- 52% -- of registered voters say they’ve given a lot of thought to the candidates, the biggest share this early in the process since the nonpartisan center first asked the question ahead of the 2008 election. The poll, conducted July 10-15, also found that high interest runs through both parties, with 55% of Republican voters and 52% of Democratic voters saying they’ve given a lot of consideration to the 2020 candidates.
The poll also found that Democratic voters expressed high levels of satisfaction with the party’s candidates as a group, with 65% saying they have either an excellent or a good impression of a field that has grown to two dozen contenders. By comparison, in September 2015 just 51% of Democratic voters said that. -- Laura Litvan
How Steve Bullock Hopes to Stand Out in Debate
Montana Governor Steve Bullock plans to use the second debate to highlight the fact that he’s the only Democrat in the crowded field who’s won a statewide election in a state Trump carried in 2016, according to a person familiar with his strategy.
Bullock will debate on July 30, the first of two nights, alongside headliners Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. He hopes his pragmatic policy approach will contrast favorably with their more progressive and idealistic vision, the person said.
But he’ll be on stage with moderates like Amy Klobuchar, John Delaney and John Hickenlooper, who are also vying for middle-of-the-road Democratic voters. So it won’t be easy to make a splash after his late entry -- Bullock was one of the few candidates who weren’t on stage for the Miami debates in June. -- Sahil Kapur
Poll Shows Biden Leading Field With 25% Support
Former Vice President Joe Biden had a solid lead in the Democratic presidential primary race, followed by Sanders, Warren and Kamala Harris, according to an NBC News/SurveyMonkey national online poll released Friday.
Biden had 25% support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, the survey showed. Sanders and Warren were tied at 16% and Harris at 14%.
Although web-based surveys aren’t considered as reliable as polls conducted by telephone, the results are roughly in line with an aggregation of polls produced by RealClearPolitics.
The NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll was conducted online July 2-16 with a national sample of 13,553 registered voters. -- Max Berley
Coming Up This Week:
Nineteen of the two dozen or so Democratic candidates are participating in forums organized by AARP this week.
A Friday event in Sioux City will feature Warren, author Marianne Williamson, O’Rourke and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang.A Saturday event in Council Bluffs will feature Sanders, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Bullock and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
--With assistance from Max Berley, Sahil Kapur, Laura Litvan, Giovanna Bellotti Azevedo and Emma Kinery.
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