Compounding reports from the weekend that Democrats, one month out from election day, are experiencing a miniature resurgence of sorts is the news that the Democratic National Committee hauled in $16 million in September. The total represents the biggest month of the 2010 election cycle (or, for that matter, of any midterm election in nearly a decade) for the DNC, notes The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza. More than 80 percent of it was raised from online and direct-mail donors, giving Democrats cause to argue that their base is rapidly reawakening.
The Republican National Committee, which has struggled in recent months to keep pace, has yet to release its own September numbers, but campaign ad spending by outside groups — which at this point totals $80 million and has favored Republicans by as much as 7 to 1 — promises to keep the overall spending totals for both sides roughly on par.
Campaign finance law places strict limits on the size of individual donations to party committees, however, indicating that the DNC is taking in a greater number of small donations than Republican campaigns are getting from new conservative-leaning outside groups like American Crossroads, which face no comparable restrictions. Indeed, groups like American Crossroads have registered with the FEC under the new designation of an “independent expenditure committee,” which means than can raise unlimited amounts of cash as long as they promise to spend it all on independent ad buys. They’ve since raised the majority of their funds from a couple of billionaires.