RNC bests DNC in March fundraising

The Republican National Committee (RNC) outraised the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in March, but the DNC won the quarter by almost $3 million.

The DNC, in its monthly filing Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), reported $6.7 million in donations for the month of March. (By contrast, the RNC drew nearly $7.2 million in contributions over the same time period.)

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For the quarter, though, the DNC scored a victory. The committee took in $21 million for the quarter, while the RNC took in $18.1 million. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus took over for ousted Chairman Michael Steele in mid-January.

The DNC reported having more than $9.7 million in cash on hand at the end of March, more than the RNC's $3.2 million, but slightly less than the $10 million in cash on hand the DNC reported having in the bank at the end of February.

The DNC reported more than $17 million in debt at the end of March, slightly less than the month before. The RNC reported debts of $19.8 million at the end of March, but that represented a drop from $21.1 million in debt the month before.

It should be noted that the DNC's numbers precede the launch of President Obama's reelection effort earlier this month, and with it, a series of major fundraisers expected to fill up the president's and the DNC's bankrolls. For most of March, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden attended DNC "events" which, weren't billed as fundraisers because attendees hadn't been asked, at that point, to send in contributions. April's FEC filings, which are due mid-May, could reflect a surge for the DNC.

As a matter of comparison, the DNC took in more for the first quarter of 2011 ($21 million) than it had for the first quarter of 2009 ($17.7 million). The RNC had a better first quarter in 2009, taking in $25 million the first quarter of that year, versus $18.1 million for the first quarter of this year.