House Democratic campaign arm raised $12.1 million in January

House Democratic campaign arm raised $12.1 million in January
© Stefani Reynolds

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raked in more than $12 million last month, the largest January haul in its history. 

The $12.1 million bested the DCCC’s previous January fundraising record by about $2.8 million. About $5.8 million of the monthly total came from small-dollar grassroots contributions, with an average donation size of $16, the committee said.

The monthly total marks a strong start to 2020 for the DCCC after it raised nearly $125 million last year, also a record.

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The DCCC has repeatedly outpaced its GOP counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), in fundraising, prompting Republican leaders in Congress to sound the alarm in recent weeks. 

In a closed-door meeting with members of his conference last month, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOn The Money: House Dems push huge jobs project in wake of coronavirus | Trump leans on businesses in virus response | Lawmakers press IRS to get relief checks to seniors Democrats push for green infrastructure provisions in next coronavirus package House Democrats push huge jobs project in wake of coronavirus MORE (R-Calif.) acknowledged that Republican members are “getting our ass kicked” in the money race. 

And Rep. Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerHouse Democratic campaign arm outraises GOP counterpart in February How campaigns are adapting to coronavirus Dems unlikely to subpoena Bolton MORE (R-Minn.), the chairman of the NRCC, said at a breakfast event last month that Republicans needed to fundraise more aggressively and stop relying on the campaign committee to bolster their reelection efforts. 

“Our members need to get their act together and raise more money,” Emmer said. “The individual campaigns need to raise more money. They cannot expect somebody else is going to do it for them, and they're going to hear that from me when we come back after the break and we see all the final numbers.”

Democrats are on defense in 2020 after picking up 43 House seats in the 2018 midterm elections. Republicans are eager to challenge those freshman representatives this year, but many of them have already built up sizable cash advantages, giving them a financial cushion heading into their first reelection bids.

“These record fundraising numbers are another example of House Democrats’ strong position as we fight to protect and expand House Democrats' firewall against Washington Republican attacks on working families' health care,” Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosDemocrats ask Trump for evidence that medical supplies are available Annual Congressional Dinner pushed back to June amid coronavirus concerns Internal Democratic research shows Hispanics energized to vote in November MORE (D-Ill.), the chairwoman of the DCCC, said. “Democrats know what is at stake in this election, and we will not let up while everyday Americans’ lives hang in the balance.”

House Democrats running in some of the most competitive races of 2020 saw a surge in fundraising in the last three months of 2019, an analysis of Federal Election Commission filings by The Hill found. The 42 members in the DCCC’s “Frontline” program — an effort to boost incumbents facing tough reelection bids — raised a combined $28.5 million in the fourth quarter of the year, a 27 percent increase over the previous quarter.