GOP leads 2010 polls, but Dems have a cash advantage

Holly Bailey
The Upshot

In news that is not likely to help embattled chairman Michael Steele, the Republican National Committee disclosed late Friday that it raised just $4.6 million in July—less than half what the Democratic National Committee brought in.

According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, the DNC raised $11.6 million in July, ending the month with $10.8 million in the bank and $3.5 million in debts. Meanwhile, the RNC's less-than-stellar fund-raising was boosted by a mysterious $900,000 insurance payout, which party officials won't discuss because the case is confidential. That brought the party's receipts to $5.5 million. But the GOP also spent more than $11 million in July, ending the month with just under $5.3 million in the bank and $2.2 million in debts.

The dismal numbers come just weeks after RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen accused Steele and his staff of hiding debts to make the party's monthly fund-raising totals look better. Steele has denied any wrongdoing and told party officials earlier this month he expects the RNC to raise $60 million ahead of November's midterms—a goal that seems unlikely to happen even as the GOP gains momentum in 2010 polls.

Donors have largely shifted their support to other GOP party committees, which have been more competitive with Democrats on fund-raising in recent months. The National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOP's fund-raising arm, raised $8.5 million in July, besting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's $6.2 million in receipts. But the DCCC still has a major cash-on-hand advantage, ending July with $35.8 million in the bank, compared to the NRCC's $22 million.

In the Senate, the two parties are virtually even in the money race. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $4.4 million and ended the month with $22.4 million in the bank. Senate Republicans brought in nearly $4.2 million and reported $21.2 million cash on hand.

(Photo of Steele by Frank Franklin II/AP)