Democrats lead on fundraising for 2010, but the gap may be closing
If new campaign dollars were votes, Democrats would be leading Republicans in the early returns for the 2010 congressional elections by about 7 percentage points overall. But that’s with Republicans closing the gap and eight months to go before Election Day.
A report by the Federal Election Commission says the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee pulled in $183 million in new donations during 2009, the first half of the 2009-2010 congressional election cycle.
That put Democrats about 9 percent ahead of their Republican counterparts — the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee — which raised $168.6 million together.
But Republicans may be gaining momentum: committee fund-raising figures that also include the month of January show the Democrats with a $202 million 13-month total and a lead narrowing to 7 percentage points, vs. the GOP’s $188.7 million tally.
The Washington Post, which reported on the FEC numbers in its Thursday editions, notes that Democrats have had difficulties given gridlock in Congress and President Barack Obama’s diminished popularity. Democrats are also the object of unhappiness on Wall Street over the prospects for financial and healthcare reforms.
But the FEC figures show the Democratic Party is still pulling in money from big donors, with $37.3 million from individuals who gave $10,000 or more during 2009. Republicans could boast only $15.6 million from the high-end crowd.
The 13-month data for the Democratic Party also reflects a 33 percent gain compared to what the three committees raised in the same period during the 2005-2006 election cycle. Republican fundraising was down 17 percent over the same period.
The 2005-2006 cycle would be the one that ended with Democrats seizing control of Congress. Republicans hope to return the favor this year.
Photo credits: Reuters/Reuters Stringer (Big Bucks); Reuters/Jason Reed (U.S. Capitol Dome)
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