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The Democratic National Committee Struggling To Pay Off $20 Million Debt From 2012 Election

According to the Democratic National Committee’s latest finance report, the committee is struggling to pay off its debt from the 2012 election.

After last year’s elections, the DNC was $20 million in debt. 10 months later, the DNC’s situation is not much better, as they find themselves $18.3 million in debt. In comparison, the Republican National Committee has $12.5 million in cash reserves and no debt. While the DNC managed to raise $3.9 million over the last several months, they spent even more -- $5.4 million – over that same time period.

In a recent piece, CNN writer Tom Newmyer cites several DNC strategists and donors that are worried about the committee’s ability to pay off its debt.

"They really thought they could get this money raised by the summer," one strategist said, "but the fact is, from talking to people over there, they have no real plan for how to solve this."

One significant problem with the DNC’s funding model is Organizing for Action (OFA), the non-profit organization created by former Obama campaign staffers last election cycle. OFA elicits donations from many of the same people that would be donating to the DNC.

"Donors are being pulled in two directions, and there's absolutely no doubt it's impacted the DNC's fundraising," one Democratic source told Newmyer. "I'm hearing it from donors regularly that they're being told to help one and not the other."

The numbers back up this claim: of the 13 donors who wrote six-figure checks to OFA, only three gave to the DNC over the same time period.

DNC committee spokesperson Michael Czin is insisting that the committee will not be restrained by their debt in the upcoming elections. Czin spoke to the media recently about the DNC’s decision to spend big in the 2012 election and their financial plans for future elections.

"We put that into a field. We won a whole bunch of states nobody thought we would win, and we’re proud of that," Czin said. "The sky’s not falling."

Speaking about OFA donors, Czin said "Of course there's competition, but the Democratic family is a big one, and at the end of the day we are all on the same team, our work compliments each other's, and there are enough resources for all of us.”

One committee that is a part of the Democratic family Czin is referencing is the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). The DCCC raised $4.4 million in July alone, has $14.6 million in surpluses, and no debt. 

Sources: Fortune, Washington Post


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