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Outside Right-Wing Groups Negate Democrats’ Fundraising Lead

New fundraising numbers are in for both parties, and they’re telling the same old story of this election cycle. All three national Democratic campaign committees outraised their Republican counterparts in August — the DNC took in $10.9 million last month, beating the RNC’s $7.9 million, while the DCCC and DSCC raised $8.3 million and $7.4 million, respectively, outpacing the NRCC’s $6.6 million and the NRSC’s $6 million. But Republicans are not dependent only on their party committees this cycle, and right-wing outside spending groups raised their fair share of funds to make up the difference.

Despite being down in a number of key races, the Democratic committees’ continued ability to bring in cash means that voters, or at least donors, haven’t yet written Democrats off, notes the Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza:

While money isn’t always determinative in elections — particularly when the national playing field is heavily tilted toward one party — it is often a sign of momentum. Given the doom and gloom predictions for Democrats over the past month, the expectation was that Republicans would easily win the cash dash.

That didn’t happen — which means Democrats are not only guaranteed to have a spending advantage in many of the most competitive races in the county but also could benefit from a bit of unexpected momentum just six weeks before the November midterms.

But as we’ve all learned, comparing the Democratic and Republican committees this year is like comparing apples and, well, rotten oranges. Instead, groups like American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS are filling in the gaps — not just running ads but also promising at $10 million get-out-the-vote effort in key battlegrounds states — and their August numbers indicate they’ll reach their goals. The two groups together raised about $14.5 million in the 30-day period that ended Sunday, and they’ve scheduled a new round of ads this week in Missouri and Colorado in addition to brand new spots in Nevada and New Hampshire.

As far as the nature of the groups’ donors, the Associated Press’s Jim Kuhnhenn notes that they are few, but heavy:

While Crossroads GPS donors are secret, American Crossroads filings with the Internal Revenue Service and with the FEC show that the group initially built itself with large contributions.

Companies controlled by major Republican donor Harold Simmons have donated $2 million. Simmons bankrolled ads in 2008 linking then-candidate Obama to William Ayers, a Vietnam-era militant who helped found the violent Weather Underground. Other million-dollar donors include Bradley Wayne Hughes, founder and chairman of Public Storage; former Univision president Jerry Perenchio; and Trevor Rees-Jones, founder of Chief Oil and Gas.

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