The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is off to a flying start for the 2014 fundraising cycle, bringing in $6.1 million in January and ending the month with $4.6 million in the bank, according to a DCCC aide.
Its total was nearly $1.7 million larger than the National Republican Congressional Committee's January haul. According to Roll Call, the NRCC raised $4.4 million last month and finished with $2.8 million in the bank. The NRCC has $11 million in debt, according to the report, while the DCCC aide said the Democratic committee is carrying $12.6 million in debt, down from nearly $13.5 million at the end of 2012.
The DCCC outraised the NRCC in nine of 12 fundraising reports in 2012 on the way to outraising the Republicans for the cycle, a notable feat for a minority party. Though members contributed one-third of the committee's January haul, the DCCC continues to rely on individual donors to supply the bulk of its money. Last cycle, the committee took three million donations for the first time in its history, according to the aide, and the party as a whole has emphasized issues that appeal to its donor base early this year -- immigration and gun control among them.
Last campaign, Democrats raised nearly $184 million -- compared to $144 million for Republicans. But the DCCC began 2011 deeply in debt, nullifying their relative fundraising edge.
House Democrats have argued that despite deep structural obstacles, they believe they can retake the majority in the lower chamber. They face myriad obstacles to reach that goal: Among them, a congressional map that leans right and the traditional difficulty an incumbent president's party faces in mid-term elections. But building a financial advantage will foster hope they can win the net of 17 seats necessary to reclaim the majority.