The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised nearly $2.2 million in February, according to numbers provided by the political committee, figures that will likely do little to quiet concern the group is struggling to raise money in the early going of the 2014 cycle.
It was the second consecutive month in which the NRSC was outraised by its counterpart, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. According to figures provided by the DSCC, it raised $4.3 million in February, roughly double the GOP group’s total.
In January, the NRSC raised about $1.5 million and the DSCC raised $4.2 million. For the year so far, Democrats have collected $8.5 million, compared to $3.7 million for Republicans.
The numbers are worth keeping in perspective: The totals themselves are paltry sums next to the hundreds of millions of dollars (if not billions) that will be spent on campaigns next year. And the NRSC, as it pointed out last month, has only recently hired its fundraising staff. The committee did improve its performance from January to February by about $700,000.
But the early trajectories of both committees suggest that, as it did last cycle, the DSCC is poised to raise significantly more money -- the Democratic Senate group raised about $146 million to the GOP's $117 million in 2011 and 2012. It speaks to the struggles of the NRSC as it seeks, after a disappointing election in 2012, to attract donors in a 2014 landscape that looks promising for Republicans. The committee has been pilloried among movement conservatives that it meddles too much in GOP Senate primaries (like in 2010 when it initially backed Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio), but it is simultaneously criticized by some establishment Republicans for failing to squash the candidacies of underwhelming nominees (like Todd Akin in 2012) who eventually lost their race.
Still, DSCC officials say they still expect Democrats in general to be outspent during the midterm elections because Republican outside groups are better funded than their Democratic counterparts.
The NRSC had $3.1 million on hand to end last month; the DSCC had $5.1 million. The DSCC said $2 million of its February haul came from “grassroots” donors. It also said the total $4.3 million raised was the its best February total in an off-year.
The Senate Republican group, under the direction of new Chairman Jerry Moran, has undergone a complete overhaul since last election. It hired a fundraising director only in late January, and just Wednesday announced the rest of its new money-raising team. The fundraisers include: Rachel Kelley, the PAC director; Brittney Godoy, deputy finance director; Fifi Knott, deputy finance director; Cara Mason, deputy finance director; and Magan Munson, deputy finance director.
All of the new staffers were began in March, according to NRSC spokesman Brad Dayspring.