WASHINGTON ― The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is touting major fundraising numbers fueled by increased grassroots activism, continuing a streak of record-breaking donations ahead of next year’s midterm elections.
The fundraising arm of the House Democrats raised $7.68 million in October, including $2.81 million in online donations, according to numbers released Thursday. DCCC said it was its highest total for the month of October in a non-national election year — in October of 2015, it raised $5.4 million.
The group attributed the gains to “grassroots energy,” noting that its average online donation was $18 and that more than 60 percent of its fundraising came in the form of smaller donations.
The large haul continues a record-breaking year — so far in 2017, the DCCC has brought in just over $89 million, compared with $57 million at the end of October 2015. More than 240,000 people donated for the first time this year, contributing to a total of 2.5 million individual donations, according to a news release.
Their Republican counterparts have not yet released the breakdown of their October fundraising, but the DCCC garnered a larger haul from May to September of this year and, overall, has slightly out-raised Republicans so far in 2017.
Democrats nationwide have seen increased mobilization since the election of President Donald Trump last year. Earlier this month, the party notched major victories in state and local races, particularly in Virginia, where they successfully kept the governor’s mansion and picked up local seats previously held by the GOP. Many of the local candidates cited last year’s election, with its subsequent groundswell in grassroots action, as an impetus for their success.
But it remains to be seen if the DCCC’s fundraising gains will translate to electoral results in the 2018 midterms, with Democrats hoping to take back control of the House. According to the DCCC, it has invested in 91 congressional districts, with particular attention on GOP-held districts that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won in the presidential election, and hopes that the fundraising numbers indicate sustained activism.
“With the House in play, another record-breaking month of fundraising for the DCCC is a clear sign that the grassroots energy behind House Democrats is only growing stronger,” said Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), chair of the DCCC. “Given that establishment Republicans are pushing a deeply unpopular Tax Scam and a constant healthcare repeal effort, it’s understandable why there is such a strong grassroots backlash to Republicans while Democrats are fielding great candidates across the largest battlefield in a decade.”