NRCC and DCCC Start 2014 Election Cycle on Level Financial Field

The National Republican Congressional Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee begin the 2014 election cycle on nearly equal financial footing, according to fundraising reports each will file Thursday with the Federal Election Commission.

The year-end reports--the last of the 2012 cycle--will show the DCCC with $13.45 million in debt and $1.49 million cash on hand, according to an aide with the committee. Those figures are slightly worse than the ones that will be reported by the NRCC, which, according to a spokeswoman, will report $12 million in debt and $1.5 million available.

The reports cap a fundraising cycle in which House Democrats raised more money than their Republican counterparts despite sitting in the minority. The DCCC received nearly $184 million in contributions the past two years, compared with $143.7 million for Republicans. A spokeswoman for the NRCC countered that the DCCC's totals are inflated by debt and added that the GOP committee spent almost $65 million on independent expenditures, nearly $5 million more than the Democrats.

The financial parity between the dueling committees sets the stage for a closely contested mid-term election, one in which Democrats remain confident they can retake the majority despite the headwinds the incumbent president's party usually faces. Democrats need to win a net of 17 seats to reach the majority; they took a net of eight last year despite a largely unfavorable redistricting process.

To their advantage, Democrats begin this cycle in better financial shape, and in better shape relative to House Republicans, than they did two years ago. The 2010 mid-terms left the political group $19 million in debt--it has $13.45 debt this time around. The NRCC, meanwhile, has more debt now than it did two years ago, with $12 million now compared with $10.5 million then.

From Nov. 27 through the end of December, the DCCC raised $1.92 million, reports will show. The NRCC raised $605,000 in the same time frame.