The Democratic National Committee released its June fundraising numbers — showing the organization trailing its Republican counterpart — late Friday afternoon when most of the media had already signed off for the weekend.
Filings with the Federal Election Commission indicate the DNC raised more than $8.5 million throughout the month of June. Although the figure was $1.7 million higher than the total it raised in May, the DNC’s haul was nearly dwarfed by its operating expenses. The filings show the organization spent more than $7.5 million throughout June.
Most of the money appears to have been spent on events, including the first Democrat presidential debate held between June 26-27 in Miami, Florida.
“The committee reported spending $221,000 on catering, $106,000 on ‘event production & site rentals,’ $61,000 on ‘event decorations,’ $50,000 on expenses marked as ‘event consulting’ and $19,000 on security,” according to Politico. The filing did not specify which expenses were related to the debates in late June.
It is unclear if the DNC’s efforts paid off, as now reports have been made about how much the organization raised following the debate.
Over the same time period, the Republican National Committee raised more than $20.8 million. The haul brings the RNC’s total cash on hand to more than $37 million, compared to only $9.3 million for the DNC.
The GOP’s fundraising prowess is likely the reason why the DNC waited until late Friday to release its June total. The time slot, infamous among media and political observers as the “Friday news dump,” is reserved for especially bad news that individuals hope will not receive scrutiny.
“The DNC tried to get one past everyone last night,” said Steve Guest, the RNC’s rapid response director. “In June, the RNC brought in twice as much money as the DNC.”
Guest noted that the RNC had “raised more than double” what the DNC has since 2020 cycle began in January. More importantly, however, the RNC has no debt, something that can not be said of of its Democrat counterpart.
Since the end of the 2016 presidential campaign, the DNC has struggled to pay down its debt. The 2018 congressional elections only aggravated the problem, as the committee was forced to take out larger loans to support its candidates. As of June, the DNC owes more than $5.7 million to its creditors.
Part of the reason why the committee has struggled to raise enough money to pay its debts is because of widespread organizational issues, according to Tracy Sefl, who once served as an adviser to both the DNC and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“People aren’t giving to the DNC because they don’t know why the fuck they should,” Sefl told Vice News on Saturday. “What is it that you’re paying for? People think messaging is what the DNC does. It’s not that at all, it’s the nuts and bolts boring stuff [that matters].”
Regardless why the DNC has struggled in fundraising, the effects are being broadly felt on state and local parties across the country.
“This is a real problem that our party and the major donors are not facing,” Jane Kleeb, the chairwoman of the Nebraska Democratic Party, told Vice News. Kleeb added the situation had become so dire that her group had not “received a dime yet” from the national party.