Online donations boost DCCC’s first-quarter haul

Online donations boost DCCC’s first-quarter haul
© Greg Nash
 
The campaign arm for House Democrats posted its best month of the year in March, boosted by a record number of online donations, according to figures first obtained by The Hill.
 
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $8.2 million last month, as it looks to cut into House Republicans’ largest majority in decades. The DCCC raised $5.2 million in February and $6.4 million in January, bringing its first-quarter total to $19.7 million.
 
The DCCC has $9.3 million in cash-on-hand, up from $6.4 million last month, and more than double its cash position at the same point ahead of the last presidential election.
 
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Still, the campaign arm for House Republicans will likely dwarf the DCCC’s numbers in March.
 
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) brought in $17.5 million at its annual fundraising dinner featuring former Vice President Dick Cheney late last month, its largest haul ever at the event by far.
 
But a DCCC aide told The Hill its first quarter numbers were impressive considering House Democrats have 57 fewer dues-paying members than the NRCC.
 
The aide noted that Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), the chairman of the DCCC, has had considerable success in bringing in new dues-paying members, noting the congressman has recruited 12 new members to contribute at this point in the cycle, compared to the first quarter in 2013.
 
Democrats have sought to focus on Internet fundraising, with the aide saying House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been “a major fundraising force online.”
 
The first quarter was the DCCC’s best ever for online donations in a non-election year. The group raised $5.6 million online from 340,000 small-dollar donations that averaged $16 a piece.
 
The DCCC has paid off a considerable chunk of its debt, which is down from $10 million in January to $4 million now, about half what it was at this point in the last presidential cycle.
 
Democrats will be looking to make inroads in the House in 2016 after a tough cycle in 2014, when Republicans picked up 13 seats and gained a 247-to-188 advantage in the lower chamber. It’s the Republicans’ largest majority in the House since World War II.