Bill Allison reports for Bloomberg, June 13, 2019, that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) “has a money problem,” which “could hurt its nominee’s chances of beating President Donald Trump in 2020.”
That’s because whoever wins the party’s nomination will rely heavily on the DNC in the general election for organizing, identifying voters and getting them to the polls. All of that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars by election day.
Signs of the DNC’s money problem include:
- The DNC has been borrowing money.
- The DNS is sending out fundraising appeals under the presidential candidates’ names, something it’s never done before.
- In the first four months of 2019, the party spent more than it raised and added $3 million in new debt.
- By the end of April, the DNC had collected contributions of more than $24.4 million, but had spent $28.4 million, according to the latest Federal Election Commission (FEC) disclosures. It had $7.6 million cash on hand, $1 million less than in January.
- All of which led the DNC, at the end of April, to post $6.2 million in debt, including bank loans and unpaid invoices to vendors.
In contrast, the Republican National Committee (RNC) is stockpiling cash. It raised nearly $62 million so far this year, two-and-a-half times the DNC’s haul. Thanks in part to President Trump’s non-stop fundraising since winning the White House, the RNC has $34.7 million in the bank and no debt.
Demonrats attribute the DNC’s money problem to:
- Competition from the 23 Demonrats who are running for president and vacuuming up contributors’ cash, instead of the money going to the DNC. From January through March 2019, 16 presidential Demonrat candidates collectively raised $77 million, or $3 million more than Trump’s committees and the RNC combined.
- Perception of some contributors that the national party is disorganized — a hangover from the 2016 election.
- Donors may be discouraged by the growing schism between the old-guard establishment and the younger, activist wing.
- Former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz who, during the 2018 Demonrat primaries, sabotaged Bernie Sanders by surreptiously helping Hillary Clinton. John Morgan, an Orlando-based trial attorney and Demonrat fundraiser, said “Debbie Wasserman Schultz really destroyed a lot of confidence in the DNC for a lot of people and for a lot of different reasons,” and that her favoring of Hillary and mismanagement of the party continues to give donors pause.
- The DNC must also compete for donations with other Democratic organizations, such as:
- The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which supports House candidates to ensure Demonrats keep their House majority won in 2018. DCCC has raised more than $40 million this year, more than the DNC’s totals each month.
- The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), DCCC’s Senate counterpart, has raised $18 million this year.
- Super PACs such as Priorities USA, the main super PAC for supporting the party’s presidential nominees. Priorities USA’s donors include some of the biggest Democratic givers, e.g., billionaire George Soros, and hedge-fund operators S. Donald Sussman and James H. Simons.
To compete in 2020, the DNC has acquired 100 million cellphone numbers to contact voters via text message. This summer, it will train about 1,000 college juniors who will be ready to hit the ground running next year.
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