WASHINGTON -- For only the second time in 2011, the Republican Party's main electoral committee out-raised its Democratic counterpart, according to disclosure reports filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The Republican National Committee (RNC) pulled in $8.1 million in August, while the Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised $5.3 million.
The RNC reported its highest haul yet from small donors who gave less than the $200 threshold required for disclosure. One-third of the RNC's disclosed contributions, meanwhile, came from donors giving $30,800, the maximum allowed per person during an election cycle. Donors giving the maximum include long-time Republican lawyer and presidential advisor C. Boyden Gray and wrestling mogul Vince McMahon.
Though the RNC now has $9.3 million cash on hand, it must continue to pay off a large debt -- now at $15.9 million -- that was accumulated by the previous chairman Michael Steele.
The DNC continued to raise money in the exact same way it has all year: through a combination of big donations to the Obama Victory Fund and a mix of repeat and new small donors. The committee raised $1.4 million in August from the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising vehicle that often hosts fundraisers headlined by President Barack Obama. Donors giving the maximum $30,800 to the victory fund include Google's Eric Schmidt, rap star Pharrell Williams, Obama bundler and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, film director Quentin Tarantino, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and Democratic donor Peter Lewis.
The DNC reported $16.6 million cash on hand. It currently owes $11.1 million in debts and obligations.
The August Democratic fundraising slowdown came after the Obama campaign warned that third quarter fundraising totals would be lower than the combined $86 million that the DNC and the Obama campaign raised through the first half of the year.