RNC fundraising falters as coffers sink to $9.1 million going into election season, lowest amount since 2015

"The damage from that chair election goes far beyond the drop in donations. Our base was demoralized," said Virginia RNC member Patti Lyman.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Ahead of the 2024 election, the Republican National Committee has dropped to a low of $9.1 million in cash on hand, the lowest in any Federal Election Commission report since February of 2015 for the committee.

According to the Washington Post, at the same point during the 2016 election, the committee had around $20 million on hand, and four years ago when Trump was in office, this number was $61 million.

As of October 30, the Democratic National Committee reported having $17.7 million on hand, around double that of the RNC.

“It’s a revenue problem,” Tennessee RNC member Oscar Brock told the outlet. “We’re going through the same efforts we always go through to raise money: the same donor meetings, retreats, digital advertising, direct mail. But the return is much lower this year. If you know the answer, I’d love to know it. The staff has managed to tighten down on expenses to keep the party from going into the red.”

People familiar with the party’s finances said that donors haven’t made as many large checks to the committee in recent years, with the party’s small-dollar program also suffering.

Some donors said they weren’t giving to the committee because they think it’ll help Trump, while others said they were waiting until 2024 to donate, and others have become frustrated with the party’s leadership.

Both party’s committees have seen a downturn in donations since 2021, which operatives have attributed to inflation and donor fatigue, and during some periods during the Trump presidency, the Democrat committee had around as much money as the RNC currently possesses.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told the outlet that donors are more interested in giving to individual candidates at the moment and donations to the party would improve once there’s a nominee.

“I think there’s more donors just fully committed to their candidate right now, saying I am all in, and once the nominee is set, I’ll be there. That’s what I hear more than anything. And they’re really solidly in the camps of their candidate, which is normal,” McDaniel said. “There’s nothing unusual about this, because they know that once their candidate gets in that we will merge and that we’ll be working together to win the White House.”

Some RNC members have stated that the drop in donations occurred because McDaniel was reelected in early 2023 after a contentious race.

“The RNC’s electoral record since 2017 speaks for itself,” said Virginia RNC member Patti Lyman, who had opposed the reelection of McDaniel. “The damage from that chair election goes far beyond the drop in donations. Our base was demoralized.”

This comes as both Trump and fellow candidate Vivek Ramaswamy have expressed concerns over the RNC. McDaniel has also been called on to resign.

During the third RNC debate that took place in early November, Ramaswamy said, "I think there's something deeper going on in the Republican Party here and I am upset about what happened last night."

"We've become a party of losers. At the end of the day there is a cancer of the Republican establishment. Let's speak the truth. I mean, since Ronna McDaniel took over as chairwoman of the RNC in 2017, we have lost 2018, 2020, 2022. No red wave— that never came. We got trounced last night in 2023. And I think that we have to have accountability in our party."

"For that matter, Ronna," he said, speaking directly to her in the audience, "if you want to come on stage tonight, you want to look the GOP voters in the eye and tell them you resign, I will yield my time to you. And frankly, look, the people— they're cheering for losing in the Republican Party."

In a post to Truth Social last week, Trump called for an end to the RNC debates and the money be used for taking down Democrats.

"RNC must save money on lowest ever ratings debates. Use it against the Democrats to STOP THE STEAL! If not, REVAMP THE RNC, NOW," Trump said.

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