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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Friday, September 1, 2023

RNC Cash on Hand

When Republican National Committee members met in Milwaukee last week, many of them had one persistent question on their minds: Why has fundraising slumped?

At the start of the 2022 midterm cycle, the RNC had twice as much cash on hand as the Democratic National Committee—$80.5 million versus $38.8 million. Now, the RNC has less than half as much on hand as the DNC—$11.8 million to the DNC’s $25.4 million.

The reversal comes after longtime RNC chair Ronna McDaniel fought off a contentious challenge to her leadership earlier this year, a victory secured partly through her pledge to prioritize the party’s fundraising efforts.

But the current state of affairs has left many RNC members concerned about the group’s financial status just as the 2024 cycle begins to pick up steam—with some of them pining for the not-so-distant past.
While Trump is still the top Republican cash draw, that doesn’t do the RNC itself as much good as it once did. He’s no longer the incumbent, and with a multitude of Republican primary challengers the RNC can’t play favorites or hitch its wagon to his star. Beyond that, the Trump campaign has long taken issue with anyone who uses Trump to make a buck—the RNC included.
But without the ability to dangle Trump in front of donors, the RNC’s fundraising has slowed dramatically. (At this same point in 2019—a comparable year, before the last general election—the RNC had four times as much in the bank, $46.6 million, according to Federal Election Commission records.) And members have taken note.

“The fundraising has gone in the toilet,” this RNC member said. “They’re not raising money.”