Tom Perez has been chairman of the Democratic National Committee for about six months. During that brief tenure, the committee has accounted for three of its 14 worst monthly fundraising reports since Barack Obama was elected president. And its latest month was its worst since Obama was inaugurated more than eight years ago.
The DNC has had problems for years, often badly lagging behind the Republican National Committee in fundraising and struggling under the uneven leadership of Debbie Wasserman Schultz until her ouster last year. But even by its own standards, the start of 2017 has been bad.
After a strong $12.2 million raised in March – the first full month of Perez’s chairmanship – fundraising has dried up considerably. The $4.7 million it raised in April was the lowest for that particular month since 2009. The $4.3 million raised in May was the worst for that month since 2003. And now the $3.8 million raised in July is the worst for any month since January 2009.
(For the purposes of this analysis, we’re including only monthly reports and not year-end reports that come after elections, when both parties tend to see fundraising come to standstill.)
Perhaps even more troubling for the DNC, this comes at a time when they might have expected a surge in grass-roots support and passion in the name of fighting the boogeyman that is President Donald Trump. But while House and Senate Republicans’ campaign committees have narrowly outraised their GOP counterparts, the DNC is getting slaughtered at the moment.
Even worse, they are actually losing money rather than building up a war chest with which to fight the 2018 election. The DNC’s cash on hand has dropped from more than $10 million when Perez took over to less than $7 million today. The committee has also seen its debts rise to $3.4 million. Combining its cash on hand with its debt, the DNC was $7.4 million in the black shortly after Perez took over at the end of February and is now just $3.4 million in the black.
For comparison’s sake, the Republican National Committee has raised at least $9.5 million every month and carries no debt. Its cash on hand has risen from about $37 million in January to $47.1 million today – more than 13 times the net money that the DNC has available.
On top of Perez’s ill-advised comments about how Democrats had to support abortion rights a few months ago – something other Democratic leaders quickly rebuffed – it suggests the DNC hasn’t really righted the ship after Wasserman Schultz’s rocky tenure.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Aaron Blake