Latest Republican Fundraising Numbers Are a Horror Show, and Something Has to Give

AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

The latest fundraising totals are in, and Democrats nearly doubled up Republicans in donations in October. The numbers are striking, with the RNC only pulling in $7.1 million to the DNC's $13.1 million. Those totals were posted despite President Joe Biden's approval being at record lows and numerous crises going on domestically and around the world. 

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(Related: The Republican Party Hates You)

October's numbers are simply a continuation of a disturbing trend, with the September gap between the RNC and DNC being even wider. 

The latest Federal Election Commission (FEC) campaign filings show the DNC, chaired by Jaime Harrison, brought in $13.1 million last month, compared to the RNC’s $7.1 million.

The DNC spent $15.9 million and had $17.7 million on hand at the end of the month, with $238,000 in debt. The RNC, chaired by Ronna McDaniel, spent $7.3 million and closed the month with $9.1 million on hand and $2.9 million in debt.

October’s fundraising numbers are similar to September’s, when the DNC raised $13.3 million in and the RNC raised $6.3 million.

The money gap has been plaguing Republicans for several cycles in a row, including 2023 in which Democrats outspent the GOP in nearly every major race on the ballot. Only in the Mississippi gubernatorial race did Republicans see a very slight advantage. And while it's become taboo among the party's base to talk about donors and money because it's seen as a sign of impurity, money still matters in politics. The mounting election losses speak for themselves.

Something has to give or Republicans are going to be staring at a lot more losses in the future. That starts with looking inwardly at those who are tasked with raising money for the party's national apparatus. It becomes a lot less defensible to keep the status quo going when the status quo is delivering election losses and a large deficit in fundraising. The RNC serves no purpose if that's going to be the end result. 

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I get that voters tend to love the idea of small donors because of the "establishment," whatever that even means these days, and the idea that candidates can be controlled by large donors, but you need both. To win the messaging war, the GOP has to have wealthy backers willing to throw money around. For whatever reason, those people are largely on the sidelines, and the lack of fundraising overall is a glaring weakness. 

To provide further context, it's not just the RNC struggling either. Biden's campaign fundraising is dwarfing the fundraising of any GOP presidential candidate. That says this is a far bigger problem than just one arm of the party.

Republicans need accountability. If the current fundraising pitches aren't working, they should be changed. If the current leadership isn't producing, it should be replaced. I don't think any of that is controversial, and it's nothing personal. The point is always to win elections. If that's not happening, nothing else matters. 

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