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“With or without a Republican president in the White House, major-donor giving has never been as low a percentage of the overall funds raised as we experienced this year,” Mr. Pullen said.

But the worst news may be, Mr. Pullen suggested, “the extraordinarily high cost of fundraising” during the Steele administration. He said between January through September, the RNC got $82 million in contributions but only $31 million of that was left over after costs of fundraising were deducted.

“To put this into perspective, in 2006 — the last comparable cycle through September — the RNC spent $32.3 million on political operations alone,” Mr. Pullen said, a greater figure than the entire 2010 cash available for all operations.

“Through September of this year, the RNC spent only $12.1 million on political operations,” he said. “An additional $20 million would have gone a long ways in winning more races in 2010.”

By comparison, according to financial data Mr. Pullen sent with his letter, the RNC raised $44 million from January through September 2006, compared with $38 million in the same period for this year. In 2006, direct mail raised $44.3 million through September, compared with $37.8 million through September in 2010.

“So whether we are discussing major-donor programs or direct marketing, in my opinion, 2010 does not compare favorably to any election in the past two decades,” Mr. Pullen concluded.

News accounts over the weekend quoted the latest Federal Election Commission disclosures to report that both the Democratic and Republican national committees ended the midterm elections more than $15 million in debt.

But the two parties’ reports to the FEC also showed the Democrats’ committee outraised Republicans by $40 million for the year, while Democrats were able to spend $29 million more than the RNC on the elections in November.

In the 2002 and 2006 midterm elections, the RNC had raised $284 million and $243 million, respectively, compared with the $179 million under Mr. Steele for 2010.