EXCLUSIVE: The Democrats’ House reelection arm outraised their GOP rivals last year, as both major parties build resources ahead of what’s expected to be a bruising battle for the House of Representatives majority in November's midterm elections.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) reports hauling in what it described as a "whopping" $146 million in 2021, which the committee said shattered by $22 million its previous off-election year fundraising record.
The DCCC, which shared their fundraising figures first with FOX Business on Friday, also reported bringing in $39.7 million in the October-December fourth quarter of fundraising, which it highlighted was its best odd-year fundraising quarter in history.
The DCCC’s 2021 haul topped the $140 million brought in last year by the rival National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which reported its fundraising figures on Thursday.
The Democrats’ reelection arm spotlighted that it started the new year with $82.5 million cash on hand, ahead of the $78.2 million the NRCC reported in its coffers. And showcasing its low dollar fundraising prowess, the DCCC noted that more than $74 million of its contributions were donated by nearly 700,000 grassroots donors.
House Democrats are working to hold onto their razor-thin House majority in the upcoming midterms. While Republicans lost the White House and their Senate majority in the 2020 elections, they defied expectations and took a big bite out of the Democrats' large House majority. The GOP now needs a net gain of just five seats in the 435-seat chamber in this year's midterms to recapture the majority it lost nearly four years ago.
Pointing to their fundraising advantage, DCCC chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney said "the numbers speak for themselves. Voters want to see Democrats hold the House majority so we can keep delivering on the issues that matter most to Americans: good-paying jobs, supply chain solutions, and lowering prices."
"With President Biden and Speaker Pelosi’s leadership, Democrats head into the election year with strong financial support and trust from the American people," the New York Democrat emphasized.
While they enjoy a fundraising advantage at the start of 2022, House Democrats are facing historical headwinds. On average, the party that wins the White House in a presidential election loses more than 25 House seats in the ensuing midterm election.
Democrats are also facing a difficult political climate, and major setbacks for President Biden and congressional Democrats to pass sweeping social spending and election reform bills, along with the five-month downward spiral of the president’s poll numbers, are also doing them no favors as they try to retain the majority in November.
Thanks to a surge in announcements the past two months, 26 House Democrats have now said they're retiring at the end of this current term, or bidding for another office, rather than run for reelection. That's twice the number of House Republicans who are not running for reelection.
House retirements are often seen as an early barometer of things to come in the midterms. The last time the House flipped, amid a blue wave in the 2018 midterms, there were 23 GOP retirements compared to just 10 among House Democrats. Competitive seats become even more vulnerable without a well-known and well-financed incumbent running for reelection.