RNC raises $7.1M in September

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But with $11.2 million cash on hand and no debt, the GOP continues to enjoy a sizable financial advantage over Democrats nearly a year after the 2012 presidential election.

By contrast, the Democratic National Committee had just $5.5 million cash on hand and $17 million in debt. That equates to a $22.7 million advantage for the Republican committee.

“It’s because of the strong support of our donors that we are able to build a permanent ground operation and ensure a year-round presence in communities all across America,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. “We’re extremely grateful for their investment, which has allowed us to accomplish so much in a very short time."

The RNC said 99 percent of its donations were $200 or less. Donations were up slightly from $6.8 million in August.

Democrats benefited in September from the looming threat of a government shutdown, with party officials fundraising off warnings that Republican lawmakers would attempt to use the lapse of federal funding to extract concessions from the president. But the DNC has struggled to keep pace with Republicans, partially because President Obama's reelection campaign created its own nonprofit group — Organizing for Action — that solicits donations to help promote the president's agenda.

Priebus said the RNC was able to benefit from outreach efforts into black and Hispanic communities — typically Democratic constituencies.

“I remain confident that with these early investments and the continued support of our donors we can grow our party and win more elections in 2014, 2016, and beyond," Priebus said.