Once upon a time, when Hillary Clinton was doing some interview before some one of her presidential runs, she claimed that she and her consort, horndog Bill, were “dead broke” after leaving the White House. Well, here we are seventeen years later – and after Mrs. Clinton’s disastrous loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 election, and it seems that going into the midterms the Democrats really are essentially dead broke.
The committee finished 2017 with roughly $6.5 million in available cash and about $6.1 million in debt, according to recently released Federal Election Commission filings. That leaves a balance of just $422,582 to start a year that will culminate in midterm elections, in which Democrats are hoping to recapture a majority in the House.
Of course this small surplus is not related to all of the spending that happened during the 2016 election. Oh, no. This is lack of a war chest is due to a collapse in fundraising.
The DNC’s fundraising challenges have been well known since shortly after the 2016 elections, when President Trump defeated front-running Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The committee has been rocked by turmoil, including the resignation of chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz amid leaked emails some say showed DNC brass “rigged” the primaries so Clinton would defeat Sen. Bernie Sanders.
In addition, the selection in February 2017 of former Obama administration official Tom Perez to replace Wasserman Schultz, over Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, sparked discord about the party continuing to hew to its establishment power base. More recently, the DNC has emerged as a key figure in the Russia collusion investigation, amid revelations it helped fund the so-called “anti-Trump” dossier that apparently led, at least in part, to the start of the probe.
Double oops. It looks like the Democrats are forgetting that they are working for the people, or at least that they are supposed to look like they are, at least to get little donations. As for the major gifts…the Democrats are looking more and more like the gang that can’t shoot straight. No one with deep pockets who wants to buy influence is going to put their money there.
So, going into the midterms, when the pendulum of legislative power tends to shift, the Democrats are at a distinct disadvantage. Spending down the tickets nationwide just might not happen due to insufficient funds.