That’s not a quote from the DNC itself in my headline but it is a quote from this Daily Beast story summarizing the mood among some Democrats who are becoming concerned about the party’s ability to compete for swing voters in the general election.
Jim Zogby, who co-chairs the DNC’s ethnic counsel, a group that represents people across different ethnic, racial, national origin, and religious identities, says he has been pushing Perez and other party leaders to expand its outreach to voters in the same areas that Trump successfully captured: Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and—a Democratic sore spot in post-2016 politics—Wisconsin…
“I am frustrated beyond belief at the sheer neglect of the constituencies I represent,” he added…
“There’s a general unease right now among operatives and others who believe the DNC is not doing enough to build out the infrastructure before the next election,” one DNC member said, who requested to speak anonymously about internal party conversations.
“There’s a deep concern that while we’re turned inwards, the Trump campaign is already out there talking to general election voters.”
Zogby points out that showing up in swing states and holding traditional DNC outreach events targeting specific minority groups is actually off-putting to Irish, Italian, Polish, Arab and other groups who might be swayed to vote blue, but who feel left out by the DNC’s approach. Zogby believes the reason Joe Biden is doing well in polls is that he’s out there speaking to those groups.
Meanwhile, State party chair of Ohio David Pepper told the Daily Beast Trump is “absolutely carpet-bombing Ohio online.” He added, “We can’t wait until next May to make the case if he’s already talking to them now.”
Another unnamed DNC source reveals there are ongoing concerns about the battleground states that haven’t spilled into the public eye. “People generally are feeling Trump is beating us on all fronts right now,” he said.
One factor that is clearly at the base of some of this concern is fundraising. In June, Politico reported that the RNC has substantially outraised the DNC despite the fact that the DNC was hosting debates on television:
The Democratic National Committee raised $8.5 million in June, the month of the party’s presidential debates in Miami — less than half of the $20.7 million the Republican National Committee pulled in during that time period, disclosures show.
The DNC also spent almost as much money as it raised — $7.5 million — during that time and finished the month with $9.3 million cash on hand. Meanwhile, the RNC is building a large war chest during the lead-up to 2020 and had $43.5 million cash on hand at the end of the month.
The RNC had another $20 million fundraising month in July, while the DNC raised just $7.7 million.
If you look at the party totals for the year, the situation is pretty bleak for Democrats. The DNC has raised $50 million this cycle (through August) but only has $9 million cash and still has $5 million in debt. By contrast, the RNC has raised $117 million and has $46 million on hand with zero debt.
Of course, what would probably help Democrats is not having 10+ candidates who are taking in millions in donations and leaving the party itself uncertain about who will be leading the charge against Trump next year. At the moment, 10 candidates have qualified for the next Democratic debate on Sep. 12. That will at least put all the remaining candidates together on one stage. However, the way the DNC set up the rules means all of the candidates who qualify for the Sep. debate also qualify for the Oct. debate. However, candidates who failed to make the Sep. debate could still get in for the Oct. debate. In other words, the numbers could go up rather than down:
Extending the September criteria to the October debate instead of setting new parameters could allow struggling candidates who missed the first fall debate to stay in the race for an extra few weeks to try to make it onstage in latter fall debate.
And while the DNC clown car continues to pack the stage with candidates, the RNC continues to pack coffers with donations and is spending that money to promote the president in battleground states.