In what party leaders are describing as a record showing, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $12 million in the second quarter of the year, including $7 million in June alone.
The committee also increased its cash on hand to $8.7 million, after ending May with $3.4 million in the bank. The DCCC’s second quarter performance slightly bested the $11.5 million it raised in the first three months of 2005.
The House Democrats’ campaign arm is still shouldering almost $3.7 million in debts from last cycle, after paying down a significant portion earlier this year.
Still, party operatives note that this is the best start to a cycle yet for the committee since the elimination of soft money in November 2002. At this same point last cycle, the DCCC had raised $14 million total.
“The DCCC’s record fundraising shows how fed up Americans are with the Republican Congress,” DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) said in a statement. “Americans have seen this Republican majority focus its attention on the wrong priorities, and ignore the things that need attention.”
Both Emanuel and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) called the Democrats’ showing a sign that the GOP-controlled Congress is ethically challenged and beholden to special interest groups.
Still, the committee continues to lag far behind its Republican counterpart when it comes to the overall race for cash.
The National Republican Congressional Committee’s second quarter money totals were unavailable by press time Monday; however, the NRCC was expected to increase its financial advantage during the three-month period.
Through the end of May, the NRCC had raised $32 million for the cycle and had $13 million left in the bank. The committee raised an estimated $14 million at the President’s Dinner last month.
NRCC spokesman Carl Forti noted that when the DCCC’s debt is subtracted from the committee’s cash-on-hand total, Democrats actually have less money available now than than they did at the end of the second quarter in 2003.
“Despite boasts to the contrary, Mr. Emanuel and Mrs. Pelosi are running behind what they did in ’03 and I’m not sure that’s anything to brag about,” Forti said.