RNC says it raised $14.6 million in February

RNC says it raised $14.6 million in February
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The Republican National Committee (RNC) raked in $14.6 million in February, a record-setting haul for that month in a non-election year.

The fundraising total is the committee’s second highest ever for the month of February, surpassed only in 2004, when then-President George W. Bush was up for reelection, Cassie Smedile, the RNC’s national press secretary, said. 

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Most of that haul – $8.9 million, or about 60 percent – came from small-dollar donations, she said. Republicans raised more than $10 million across all three party committees – the RNC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Commitee – Smedile said.

The fundraising total was first reported Wednesday by the Washington Examiner.

The RNC’s fundraising announcement comes as Democratic presidential candidates, like Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again Don't expect Trump-sized ratings for Democratic debates MORE (I-Vt.) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), have pointed to their reliance on small-dollar donations as a sign of grassroots strength.

O’Rourke, who entered the 2020 contest last week, said that he raised roughly $6.1 million in the first 24 hours of his campaign. He announced on Wednesday that that early fundraising total came from 128,000 separate donors – an average of about $47 per contribution.

President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE, however, has also proven to be an adept fundraiser for Republicans.

Smedile said that, since January, the Trump campaign and RNC's joint fundraising committee, Trump Make America Great Again Committee, has seen five days in which it raised more than $1 million.

News of the RNC’s February fundraising haul also came on the heels of an announcement by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) that it had raised $11.6 million in February. $4.6 million of that total came from grassroots networks, the committee said.

Democrats have gained an edge in online, small-dollar fundraising in recent years with the advent of the party’s online platform, ActBlue. During the 2018 midterm cycle, Democrats campaigns raised more than $700 million through the platform.

Earlier this year, Republicans revealed plans to launch an online fundraising platform of their own, dubbed Patriot Pass. Smedile said Wednesday that Republicans have acquired more than 1 million online, small-dollar donors since Trump's inauguration in 2017, including 100,000 since Jan. 1 of this year alone.

--Updated at 5:10 p.m.