A series of controversies and a stalled legislative agenda might be a drag on President Trump’s approval ratings, but campaign finance records show Democrats have failed to cash in on the chaos.
Despite making a money pitch after every misstatement or errant tweet, the Democratic National Committee raised $6.4 million last month, compared to $9.5 million pulled in by the Republican National Committee, according to FEC reports filed Monday.
Republicans got off to a good start with a record-setting $20 million haul in January, which is double the total raised by their Democratic counterpart in the first two months of 2017.
To date, the RNC has outpaced the Democrats with nearly $30 million in total receipts, compared with nearly $11.5 million for the DNC.
So far this year, Republican campaign committees have raised nearly $60 million, as opposed to the $36.6 million in receipts brought in by the Democrats, according to the FEC.
The lackluster showing by the DNC is made worse by the fact the party has $10.2 million in cash-on-hand, compared with $39.2 million in GOP coffers – despite the DNC spending $4 million more this year.
In addition, the DNC is carrying $2.8 million in debt, while the RNC has none.
“Voters are enthusiastic about the strong leadership from President Trump and Congressional Republicans, who are committed to keeping their promises to the American people,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Tuesday.
Democrats say they will increase their efforts after the DNC is reoganized.
"The DNC, under the leadership of Tom Perez, is currently doing a top to bottom review of each department and that includes our fundraising efforts. Over the next few months and as we put top leadership in place, the DNC will be ramping up its fundraising efforts," says DNC spokesman Xochitl Hinojosa.
But Republicans also have an advantage on raising funds for their congressional campaigns, albeit a smaller one.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which has 25 seats at play in 2018, raised $7.5 million in the first two months.
That lags behind the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which brought in $9.3 million and only has nine seats to defend. According to its March 17 filing, the NRSC has $10.2 million in cash-on-hand.
The cash race is equally close between the National Republican Congressional Committee ($20.5 million) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ($17.6 million).
According to the NRCC, the $10.5 million raised in February 2017 shattered their previous record of $8.1 million in February 2003.
“With record fundraising totals for 2 straight months, there is simply no denying that Republican momentum is building for 2018,” said NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers in a statement.
Like polls, fundraising totals mean very little with more than 19 months left before the midterm elections.
Nathan Gonzalez, editor of the non-partisan Inside Elections, cautions against drawing correlations between fundraising and electoral results.
“The Republicans are certainly benefitting from having the presidency, but Democrats have an opportunity to raise money off of the realities of a Trump presidency,” he tells Fox News.
“Sometimes there are political problems that money cannot fix and many strategists would rather have enthusiasm rather than money,” adds Gonzalez, who notes the debate over repealing Obamacare and achieving tax reform could affect future fundraising.
Rather than continuing to direct their financial support to the national party, Democratic voters may be putting their money into outside interest groups.
In the weeks after the election, the ACLU took in $15 million in contributions and in the weekend after the inauguration, they raised more than $24 million in online donations, according to The Washington Post.
It was just announced that Hollywood activists are holding a benefit on Facebook Live to raise money for the ACLU. The March 31 event will feature featuring “A-listers” like Tina Fey, Tom Hanks and Alec Baldwin.