- The Washington Times - Friday, July 10, 2020

The Republican State Leadership Committee that boosts the party’s state legislative candidates rake in a whopping $10.5 million in the second quarter.

The haul also dwarfs the Democrats’ $5.8 million and marks a rare time when its opponent, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, saw its fundraising drop from quarter to quarter.

The figures are significant because a presidential run during a census year is an election that happens only once every 20 years. Both parties are raising record sums overall with the knowledge that whichever party controls state government will redraw the congressional district maps based on the census numbers.

Although both parties are breaking quarterly records for state fundraising, the DLCC raised $6.4 million in the first quarter, meaning its total dropped by $600,000.

Republicans say the DLCC’s dip coincides with the party’s jog to the left, including calls to defund the police. But GOP officials also acknowledge that in the end they are unlikely to have substantially more money than Democrats.

“I think it’s hard not to draw a line when the decline happens at the same time they’ve embraced items of a far-left agenda,” said Dave Abrams, RSLC deputy executive director. “We had a great quarter, broke our 2nd quarter record and it’s a clear signal of the energy and enthusiasm as it comes after we broke our 1st quarter record, too.”

“But we are under no illusions because we know that with 117 days to go until the election Democrats can quickly make up any fundraising difference with blank checks from their billionaire donors,” Mr. Abams added.

Both parties have put a renewed emphasis on state-level fundraising in 2020 because the census this year whichever party is in power next in state legislatures and governors’ mansions will also control the redrawing of the congressional map. After elections throughout the Obama years decimated the Democrats in state governments, the party has regained ground under President Trump and its plan for 2020 is modestly billed, “Flip Everything.”

To do so, the DLCC has set a fundraising goal of $50 million, of which it has raised $30 million so far, according to the second quarter reports released (this) week. Republicans, meanwhile, have not stated an ultimate goal but report $35 mil in contributions for the cycle.

Fundraising comparisons are often dubious, given both parties consistently boast of their success and modern campaigns draw on multiple pots of money, but figures for the first two quarters show the Democrats will need heroic giving to reach the $50 million mark.

The DLCC has set quarterly records the past two quarters, most recently taking in $5.8 million which is $2 million more than its previous second-quarter record in 2018, the DLCC reported.

“As we look towards November, it’s clear that Democrats have momentum on our side as Republicans are in complete meltdown,” Ms. Post said in the DLCC release. “We’re more than prepared to compete with Republicans ahead of the most consequential election cycle for state legislative races in a decade. Democrats are on complete offense this year and will have resources we need to win majorities across the country.”

But Ms. Post omitted from the DLCC report the fact it suffered a rare fundraising decline from quarter-to-quarter at a time it will need heroic contributions to approach its $50 million goal.

The DLCC did not respond to a request for comment, but in its press releases hinted at the problems all operations have endured as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic shutdowns.

“There’s a decade’s worth of power on the line and it’s only every 20 years this overlaps with a presidential election,” Mr. Abrams said. “So every acronym under the sun, including Soros and Tom Steyer, will have committed unbelievable sums of money.”

However, Mr. Abrams’ prediction possible fundraising differences could be erased quickly through contributions from Democratic megadonors seems apt given George Soros pumped more than $28 million into the party’s with Mr. Soros spending $28.3 million on Democratic groups in the first three months of 2020.

“There’s a decade’s worth of power on the line and it’s only every 20 years this overlaps with a presidential election,” Mr. Abrams said. “So every acronym under the sun, including Soros and Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg, will have committed unbelievable sums of money.”

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