Campaign

House Democrats campaign arm raises $34.1M in first quarter

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raked in $34.1 million in the first three months of 2021, posting its best first-quarter fundraising total for an off-year to date.

The group said it will post $30.3 million in cash reserves when it files its first-quarter report with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) later this week, more than twice as much as it had in the bank at this point two years ago. 

The DCCC's fundraising haul was driven by small-dollar online donations, with an average online contribution of $17. More than 99 percent of donations to the group were $100 or less, it said. 

The DCCC's last filing to the FEC, which covered the month of February, showed the committee carrying about $11 million in unpaid debts, and it's unclear how much of the committee's first-quarter haul was used to pay off those obligations.

Still, the $34.1 million haul means that the Democrats' House campaign arm narrowly outraised its GOP counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee, which announced last week that it had pulled in $33.7 million in the first quarter of the year.

The amounts raised by both committees are remarkable for a year without any regularly scheduled federal elections. But the aggressive fundraising efforts show how eager both Democrats and Republicans are to stockpile money ahead of the 2022 midterms. 

House Republicans are coming off a successful 2020 election cycle that saw them gain 12 seats in the lower chamber, even as the GOP lost control of the White House and Senate. 

Those down-ballot gains have put them in a position to recapture the House majority next year. The GOP needs to flip five seats to gain control of the chamber - a goal that appears well within reach given that the president's party typically loses seats in the first midterms following his inauguration.

Democrats, however, believe that they have a solid chance of maintaining control of the House. They're hoping that sweeping legislative action, including the passage of a $1.9 trillion stimulus package last month, will help them buy some goodwill with voters ahead of 2022. 

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