- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Republican National Committee said it raised close to $18 million last month, touting the fundraising numbers Tuesday as a record-setting off-year haul for the month of March and raising its first-quarter pull to $44 million.

The announcement began to ease fears that the party had fallen out of the good graces of donors after the Trump presidency culminated with the loss of the U.S. Senate, claims of a stolen election and the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol that stunned the nation and exposed fissures in the Republican Party.

“Our supporters’ generous contributions allow us to pursue our mission, which includes promoting an America-first agenda, fighting relentlessly to preserve the integrity of our elections and holding Big Tech accountable for their daily attacks on First Amendment rights,” said RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel. “We look forward to repaying our supporters’ investment when we retake the House and Senate in 2022 and make Joe Biden’s presidency an unremarkable footnote when we beat him in 2024.”

With 84% of the contributions coming from small donors, the RNC said, the fundraising signals strong grassroots support.

A spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee revealed Tuesday night that they’ve raised $12.7 million in March and $48.2 million over the first three months of the year. 

The first-quarter financial hauls are a measure of President Biden’s effectiveness as well as a barometer for the Republican Party as it looks to regroup after losing control of the House in 2018 and the White House and Senate in 2020.

If recent history is any indication, then the political spending will continue to rise.

Roughly $14.4 billion was spent in the 2020 election season: $5.7 billion on the presidential race and $8.7 billion on congressional contests, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

That was more than double the record set in 2016.

Along the way, Mr. Biden and former President Donald Trump carved out new ground.

Mr. Biden’s campaign became the first to raise more than $1 billion. Mr. Trump was a grassroots juggernaut, raising over half of his $773 million from donations of $200 or less.

The 2018 elections also set a new bar for spending in midterms elections, with more than $5.7 billion funneled into congressional races.

Both parties are counting on donor networks to prop them up ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Democrats are defending a slim majority in the House and a 50-50 party split in the Senate, where Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tiebreaking vote for Democrats.

Republicans are bullish about the chances of flipping control of Congress and working hard to keep Mr. Trump and his loyal base on the party’s good side.

Hoping to avoid a financial arms race, Republican officials downplayed Mr. Trump’s attacks on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, and others in the party whom he labeled disloyal.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, is selling Trump memorabilia and apparel, including “Still My President” and “Miss Me Yet?” T-shirts with images of the 45th president.

Mr. Trump urged his supporters last month to send their donations to his Save America leadership PAC and Make American Great Again PAC rather than the national party.

“No more money for RINOS,” Mr. Trump said. “They do nothing but hurt the Republican Party and our great voting base — they will never lead us to Greatness. “Send your donation to Save America PAC at DonaldJTrump.com,” he said. “We will bring it all back stronger than ever before!”

He reportedly is raking in the cash, although the filing deadline for PACs is the end of July.

CNBC and Fox News reported that the Save America leadership PAC had bankrolled $85 million heading into the second quarter.

Mr. Trump has made it clear that he wants to put his imprint on the midterm elections and settle the score with Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach him for inciting the Jan. 6 riot.

The friction escalated further after Mr. Trump’s attorneys sent a cease-and-desist order telling the NRSC and the National Republican Congressional Committee to stop using his name and likeness in their fundraising appeals.

Mr. Trump also has repeatedly attacked Mr. McConnell. At an RNC donor retreat this month at his Mar-a-Lago resort in South Florida, the former president called the Senate Republican leader a “dumb son of a bitch.”

For the moment, though, the tensions have cooled down.

The NRSC raked in $8.3 million in March, bringing its first-quarter fundraising haul to $23 million, and the NRCC pulled in $19.1 million last month, bringing its first-quarter total to $33.7 million.

Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, chairman of the NRSC, said the combination of a robust digital fundraising operation and a national bundler network is putting Republicans in a position to “bring common sense back to Washington and kick Chuck Schumer out as majority leader.”

“I’m proud to announce that in March, the NRSC paid off all of the debt carried over from the previous cycle, the earliest either the Democrat or Republican Senate committee has paid off debt in recent history, and goes into the second quarter of 2021 with more than $12 million cash on hand,” Mr. Scott said.

Democrats also are boasting about their campaign war chests.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said Tuesday that it raised $9.3 million in March and $22.7 million over the first three months of the year, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced that it pulled in $34.1 million.

“For the second month in a row, the DSCC outraised the NRSC,” the Democrats’ campaign arm said in a statement.

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