Democrats hold financial advantage ahead of midterms

Holly Bailey
The Upshot

With just six weeks to go until Election Day, Democrats face an uphill battle to defend their majority control of Congress, but the party does have at least one thing going for them in the final stretch of the campaign: They have more cash to spend than Republicans.

According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission Monday, Democratic party committees outraised their GOP counterparts in August and, with the exception of Senate Democrats, ended the month with more cash in the bank. It was a rare sign of optimism for Democrats, who had been narrowly outraised by some GOP committees for most of the summer.

By far, the biggest fundraising gap was between the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee, which has struggled all year to raise funds under Chairman Michael Steele.

According to FEC reports, the DNC raised nearly $11 million in August, compared to just $7.9 million reported by the RNC. Both committees spent heavily last month—$13 million for the DNC compared to $8.5 million for the RNC—and ended August with significant debts. The DNC reported $13.4 million cash on hand, with $8.4 million in debt. The RNC reported roughly $4.7 million in the bank and $1.2 million in debts.

House Democrats raised $8.3 million last month, compared to the House GOP party committee, which raised $6.6 million. But House Democrats continued to maintain a serious cash-on-hand advantage compared to Republicans, reporting just over $39 million in the bank, compared to the House GOP's $26 million.

In the Senate, the stakes ended up much closer. While Senate Democrats outraised Republicans $7.4 million to the GOP's $6 million, Senate Republicans ended the month with slightly more cash in the bank, $24.5 million compared to the Dems' $22.9 million.

(Photo of DNC Chairman Tim Kaine: Getty Images)