The Democratic National Committee is in serious debt trouble after the 2012 elections:
Barely more than a year before the 2014 midterm elections, the Democratic National Committee is struggling to pay off debt and rebuild its war chest while competing for donations with Organizing for America, the Web-based political group created from the remnants of President Obama’s re-election organization.
Since the 2012 presidential campaign, which cost almost $7 billion and was the most expensive in history, the DNC has been struggling with a debt load that stands at more than $18 million.
The Republican National Committee, meanwhile, holds $13 million in cash-on-hand, and is beating the DNC with debt and money raised to date.
Granted, successful elections cost money. The RNC held $24 million in debt in 2011 after a domination of the House.
But 15 of the top 24 donors to Organizing for America, President Obama’s former campaign machine, haven’t donated to Democrats for the past seven months. Supposedly, OFA is the reason for the DNC’s financial woes:
Former Federal Election Commission Chairman Michael Toner disagrees.
“DNC fundraising has been hurt by the OFA, there’s no question about it,” he said.
Mr. Toner said that if the trend persists and donors continue to abandon the DNC in order to bankroll Organizing for America, it could increase the group’s debt.
If this dearth of cash continues, the DNC won’t be able to transfer funds to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) or the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) for next year’s elections.
OFA’s influence on the Democratic Party will affect its performance next year and in 2016. The president, through his innovative campaigning, set a precedent for future candidates: self-constructed campaign machines distinct from the parties themselves.
It’s reasonable to ask who will build the next OFA, or at least who the organization will endorse.
Joe Biden? Hillary? Martin O’Malley? Dark horse candidate Brian Schweitzer?
My thesis advisor, Professor Lara Brown, speculated on this in her book Jockeying for the American Presidency. She theorizes that opportunistic candidates win elections by using the rules of the political game to suit their needs. President Obama did that with social media practices and Organizing for America.
With the DNC scrambling for cash for the next three-and-a-half years, a new candidate will have to innovate with the Obama methods against a Republican Party that has been learning for six straight years.
The situation makes me cautiously optimistic.