Following the 2022 cash from corporate America and dark money donors finds that the bulk of political donations are going to the GOP, which has tens of millions on hand in 2022 more than they did in 2020, but it doesn't mean Dems are getting destroyed, either. Dems are having a record year in fact, especially at the national House and Senate fundraising levels, it just means Republicans have an even larger haul.
Major Republican organizations focused on winning back control of the House and the Senate ended last year with significantly more money than their Democratic counterparts, a reversal of past fortunes that suggests shifting momentum ahead of the midterm elections.
The new fundraising totals, revealed Monday in filings to the Federal Election Commission, showed both parties holding record amounts for the off-year of the congressional cycle. But the growth in the Republican cash hoard compared with the 2020 and 2018 cycles outstripped Democratic gains, as GOP donors, particularly those who give seven- and eight-figure checks, leaned into the effort to take back control of the House and the Senate this fall.
The Republican Party’s campaign committees for the House and the Senate, along with the super PACs affiliated with Republican House and Senate leadership, reported nearly $220 million in combined cash on hand on Dec. 31. By contrast, the corresponding Democratic organizations reported $176 million in cash reserves.
The same Democratic groups had nearly $161 million in cash on hand at this point in the 2020 cycle, about $50 million more than the corresponding Republican groups.
The disclosures come as Republican leaders have become increasingly confident about taking back control of the House and Democrats have begun to criticize each other publicly about the strategy for winning over voters. Some Democratic leaders say worries about the election environment and the sidelining of former president Donald Trump as a unifying target have diminished donor enthusiasm on their side.
“When you are a Democrat, you are raising money for a very-likely loss, so that is hard to get around,” said David Brock, the founder of American Bridge 21st Century, a super PAC that supports Democratic candidates. “And in 2018 and 2020, there was a good chunk of anti-Trump money that is not coming back unless he is the nominee again.”
But several other Democrats said the relative drop-off is less important than the eye-popping amounts of money that both parties have been able to harness. President Biden’s party, they say, will have enough money down the stretch. They also noted that cash-on-hand figures for the end of the year are just a single snapshot of time, which does not take into account spending last year or fundraising that is in the pipeline for later this year.
“House Democrats’ record-breaking fundraising shows we’re ready to compete across the battleground and make sure voters know just how dangerous Republicans’ extremist agenda is,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Chris Taylor said in a statement.
A clear bright spot for Democrats came at the national party level, which funds field operations in the states that can benefit House and Senate campaigns. With Biden in the White House, the Democratic National Committee ended last year with $65 million in cash, compared with just $10 million at the start of 2020 and $6.6 million at the start of 2018.
The Republican National Committee reported $56 million in cash at the end of 2021.
Democrats also took solace in the strong fundraising for some of their 2022 candidates, which does not show up in the filings for party committees and their corresponding outside groups. Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D-Ga.) reported collecting $9.8 million in the last three months of the year, compared with $5.4 million for former football star Herschel Walker, who has been endorsed by Trump as the Republican candidate for his seat.
Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) raised about $9 million in the same period, compared with $1.4 million for finance executive Blake Masters and $800,000 for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who are competing for the Republican nomination.
“While Republicans put forward flawed candidates that are locked in vicious primaries, this record-breaking fundraising quarter for Democrats shows the power of our grass roots support,” said Jazmin Vargas, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The DSCC ended the year with $23.7 million in cash on hand, compared with $32.8 million for its counterpart, the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
In other words, DNC chair Jaime Harrison, DCCC head Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, and DSCC head Sen. Gary Peters are all pulling in record hauls. They are raising hundreds of millions, which is what the Dems need. They are getting the job done.
The issue of course is that the GOP has even more cash on hand. Raising the cash is one thing, making it work, well, Dems have had issues with that in the past (look at Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who raised tens of millions and got destroyed in 2014.) Money? Dems can do that. Win with that money? We will see.