The RNC has consistently outraised the Democratic National Committee on a month-by-month basis. Observers say that streak is likely to end this month.
New RNC Chairman Michael Steele has committed gaffes that may embarrass his party in the short term, but Republican insiders say they are worried several of his actions will hit a fundraising trifecta: wounding party efforts to attract big donors, small donors and those who give on the Internet.
Continued low fundraising numbers would add yet more pressure to Steele, who has already faced criticism for his public gaffes and his private elimination of dozens of RNC staffers.
Steele's failure to fully staff his office is one factor in the poor showing. "They don't have a finance director. That may have an impact on fundraising," deadpanned one prominent Republican fundraiser to The Hill. "The lack of having a finance division, that might have an impact on fundraising."
An RNC member cited Steele's comments to GQ as another reason. "It's just like throwing a bomb inside the party," he said. "It's one more notch in fundraising."