- The Washington Times - Friday, January 13, 2012

The Republican National Committee enjoyed a fourth quarter of fundraising in 2011 that shows it is able to compete with the Democrats again.

The RNC Friday reported raising $27 million in the final three months of last year, including $11.6 million in December — its best December since 2003. The Democratic National Committee raised $24 million in the fourth quarter.

The past year “was indeed a record-breaking year for the RNC,” said Chairman Reince Priebus in a statement. “We raised more major-donor money this year than in any off-year in history, while our grassroots supporters continued to play a critical role in our financial success. Thanks to the generosity of all our supporters, the RNC will be a powerful force this election year.”

The successful quarter brought the RNC’s total for the year to $87 million. It’s a financial turnaround under Mr. Priebus, the former Wisconsin GOP chief who took over in January 2011 facing a $24 million debt run up under former Chairman Michael Steele. And the RNC has now beaten the DNC in fundraising four out of the past five months, despite of President Obama’s fund-raising prowess.

One of the most striking developments for the RNC is its success lately at pulling in money from big donors, those who give $15,000 or more. The RNC said it raised $24 million from this group in 2011, a record for a non-election year. In 2009, Mr. Steele raised only $3 million from big donors.