Financial woes are dimming the GOP's bright prospects of making major gains in the House next year and some GOP strategists are blaming an unlikely source: Republican incumbents.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, the financial arm for GOP House campaigns, has raised less than a third as much money as its Democratic counterpart and ended 2009 with barely enough money to fully finance a single House race, Politico reported Sunday.
Despite evidence of solid opportunities in at least 40 districts this year, Republican incumbents have donated well below expectations, GOP strategists told Politico.
In the past three months, only 75 of 177 Republicans transferred money into the committee, banking $2.1 million, according to Politico. The average donation was just $28,000, with only 11 members donating $50,000 or more during that period.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, by contrast, raised nearly $4 million from 90 0f its members -- with 35 House Democrats forking over at least $50,000.
Overall, the DCCC outraised the NRCC last year by more than $18 million, according to FEC figures at the end of November. The NRCC has only $4.3 million left in its campaign account, with more than $2 million in debt. That means it will have very little to fund the dozens of races it hope to successfully contest.
By contrast, the DCCC has a $15.3 million war chest and $2.6 million in debt.
The lackluster fundraising has Republicans worried.
"We have the recruits to get this back, but we don't know if we have the resources," NRCC executive director Guy Harrison told Politico. "We need every one of [our members] pulling at the oars right now."