What the heck happened to the Democrats' fundraising?

Last month Politico sounded the alarm about the Democrats’ “looming fundraising crisis.” That struck some observers as rather odd, given all the headlines we read about how energized their base is, the unifying effect of national efforts to #RESIST Donald Trump and the well attended rallies which liberals regularly stage in the streets of many major cities. You’d think the money would be pouring in.

Not to worry, folks! The party leadership didn’t sound concerned in the least. In fact, Keith Ellison went on NBC News to promise everyone that they would have “some really good numbers” to show the public in the weeks to come. Here’s the video clip of that.

I’m not sure precisely how many “weeks to come” Ellison was talking about, but their last set of numbers are indeed “really good“… if you happen to be a Republican. Lauretta Brown at Town Hall paints a picture which is nothing but bleak for the Party of the Donkey.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) may be in trouble, according to its latest Federal Election Commission (FEC) filing showing it raised only $4.3 million in August and is $4.1 million in debt. The Republican National Committee (RNC) did much better, raising a whopping $7.3 million in August with no debt. The DNC has raised less than half of what the RNC has raised so far this year.

RNC Finance Chairman Steve Wynn commented that the RNC’s August fundraising haul was an “unprecedented amount of support in a nonpresidential year,” saying Americans want “even more of the economic and political leadership offered by our party and the Trump administration.”

So just how bad is it? Well, if you were a bank or credit union holding the mortgage on the Democrats’ house it would probably be just about time to foreclose. The RNC provided this topline chart to show where the two parties stand thus far in 2017.

Not only are GOP donors more than doubling the efforts of Democrats in year to date receipts, the cash on hand situation should be sending liberals to man the walls. If you subtract the $4.1M of debt from their paltry $6.8M cash on hand, they don’t have enough money to rent a decent sized apartment in Manhattan from now until the midterms.

What’s the explanation for this? First of all, to be fair, fundraising for both major parties is always lower in the year following a presidential election. People are exhausted from the race, not focusing as much on politics and you’ve probably tapped some of your bigger donors essentially dry in the run-up to the previous November. And August can be a slow month to begin with. The Democrats raised $29.39M last August for example. By comparison, they raised $39.37M in August of 2008 as they fought to elect Barack Obama and the following August they only brought in $6.9M.

But that doesn’t change the fact that, first of all, the GOP is doubling them across the board, so the country’s donor base obviously isn’t entirely exhausted. But second, who is managing the finances at the DNC? They’re riding on some significant debt while the GOP has somehow managed to pay theirs off entirely. Part of this probably has to do with the fact that Tom Perez is only a part time chairman and their management team is still essentially split in half between two warring factions. Putting Keith Ellison in a senior leadership role clearly didn’t fully assuage his followers who wanted their wing of the party to be completely in charge.

There’s still a bit of time left to gear up fully for the midterms, but it’s running out quickly. And with the Democrats defending roughly twice as many Senate seats as the Republicans they’ve got some hefty bills coming their way next year. Allowing the GOP to build up this sort of a head start doesn’t speak well for whoever has their hands on the tiller over there.