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Democratic House campaign arm raises $11.3 million in April

Democratic House campaign arm raises $11.3 million in April
© Keren Carrion

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $11.3 million in April, a sign that the group is feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on its finances.

The fundraising haul is narrowly higher than the $11.2 million the committee raised in April 2018, seven months before Democrats won control of the House in a wave election. But it also marks the worst month of fundraising for the group so far this year. In March, the DCCC raked in $14.3 million. And that was down from about $17 million in February.

The $11.3 million total from April still shatters the committee’s previous fundraising record for the month. In total, the DCCC has raised $179 million for the 2020 election cycle, up from the $151 million it had raised by this point in the 2018 cycle. 

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About $7 million of the $11.3 million raised by the DCCC last month came from grassroots fundraising, the committee said, its best month for small-dollar donations this year. The group hit its previous high for grassroots fundraising in 2020 in February, with $6.34 million.

“Our grassroots supporters have always been the motor of House Democrats’ success. But they’ve really stepped on the gas as they’ve watched Washington Republicans’ flat-footed response to this crisis,” Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosDemocratic Women's Caucus members split endorsements for House campaign chief Rep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 Maloney vows to overhaul a House Democratic campaign machine 'stuck in the past' MORE (D-Ill.), the chairwoman of the DCCC, said in a statement.

“With millions of Americans struggling right now, the fact that we surpassed our previous record is a testament to our grassroots donors digging deep, signing up for volunteer shifts, and doing everything they can to put Washington Republicans in the rearview," she added.

But the committee’s downturn in fundraising in recent months suggests that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on the money race in a year that both Democrats and Republicans see as particularly critical. 

The outbreak has roiled the U.S. economy in recent months as stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures have forced the widespread closure of businesses, resulting in millions of layoffs. The Labor Department announced last week that the unemployment rate has soared to 14.7 percent, its highest level since the Great Depression. 

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That the DCCC’s fundraising saw a decrease in April isn’t entirely unexpected. The group has seen a dropoff between March and April in every election year going back to 2010. That’s because March coincides with the end of the first financial quarter and the aggressive fundraising push that typically comes with it.

In 2018, for instance, the committee raised $11.2 million in April after raising $14.3 million in March. In 2016, the last presidential election year, the DCCC raised about $8.6 million in April after bringing in $11.3 million in March.

Other political groups have seen their fundraising take a hit amid the coronavirus pandemic. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  New DOJ rule could allow executions by electrocution, firing squad MORE’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised $60.5 million in April, down from about $79.3 million in March. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE’s campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) saw a less-significant drop between March and April. Together, they raised $61.7 million last month, down from $63 million in March. 

--Updated at 10:47 a.m.