The cash-strapped Democratic National Committee spent more money than it raised in the first four months of 2019 as it prepares for the 2020 presidential election, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
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By the end of April, the DNC had collected contributions of $24.4 million, but spent $28.4 million, Bloomberg reported. It had $7.6 million cash on hand and posted $6.2 million in debt, including bank loans and unpaid invoices to vendors.
In part, it’s because donors are giving their money to the 24 Democratic presidential candidates, some of whom accrued hefty donations in the first three months of fundraising, rather than the DNC. For instance, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign raised $6.3 million in the first 24 hours within announcing his presidential bid.
Plus, many Democratic presidential candidates have stressed that they won’t accept institutionalized financial support from PACs or corporations while campaigning, instead relying on grassroots support. The average donation for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign, for instance, was slightly less than $26.
Comparatively, the Republican National Committee has about $34.7 million in the bank -- and no debt. It raised about $61.8 million so far this year, more than double that of the DNC, according to Federal Election Commission records.
It also outraised the DNC during the 2018 midterm election cycle. The RNC fundraised and spent about $325 million, while the DNC raised and spent closer to $176 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
But FEC records show this phenomenon isn’t actually that unusual: The presidential incumbent’s party tends to raise more money than the opposition. When President Barack Obama was seeking re-election in 2011, the RNC raised about $390 million and spent close to $386 million. The DNC, meanwhile, out-fundraised it by about $20 million.
On Tuesday, the Democratic Party’s governing arm took out a $10 million line of credit, about two months after it took out $5 million in early April, according to an FEC filing. According to The Hill, which first reported the news, officials did so in order to allow the party to make early investments in infrastructure ahead of the presidential election.