Big surge among small donors for Republicans helps campaign committees

The Republican National Committee (RNC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) have seen a surge in the number of small-dollar donors making contributions in recent months, according to new reports.

The RNC raised $8.74 million in September, ending the month with $18.9 million in the bank. The committee has not carried any debt this year.

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Meanwhile, the NRCC raised $3.4 million, spending all but $100,000 and ending the quarter with $4.3 million in the bank. The NRCC still has $2 million in obligations to other vendors.

The Democratic National Committee did not release its totals by late Monday afternoon, but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did, becoming the second of the party's three committees to outraise its Republican counterpart.

The DCCC said it would report raising just over $7 million during the month of September while retaining $14.7 million in the bank. The committee had $4.6 million in debt through the end of August, but numbers through the end of September had yet to be released.

As national attention focused on the healthcare debate, unemployment numbers ticked up and political analysts detected a noticeable shift toward the Republican Party, both committees saw a significant boost in online and small-dollar fundraising.

The RNC raised money from an average of 2,400 new donors per day last month. Overall, the average contribution was just $36, according to data to be filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.

The NRCC attracted more than 12,000 new donors last month, the reports will show.

Although it is raising significant amounts of cash, the RNC's bank account balance continues to shrink. Chairman Michael Steele took office in the last days of January, when the RNC had $22.8 million on hand. That number peaked in April, at nearly $24.4 million, but spending on governors' races in Virginia and New Jersey have sapped millions from the party's coffers.

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All told, the RNC has spent about $8 million on behalf of former Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell (R) and more than $3 million for former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie (R), the party's nominee in New Jersey.

The numbers are good news for Republicans, as once again the RNC is likely to outraise its Democratic counterpart.

Since President Obama took office, the DNC's fundraising prowess has improved. Still, the RNC has outraised the DNC in three of the past seven months.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has outraised its Republican counterpart in three straight quarters, though not in every individual month. The DSCC has raised $33.3 million to the National Republican Senatorial Committee's $29.7 million, and it maintains a wide cash-on-hand advantage over the GOP's Senate campaign arm.