Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 25, 2014

DSCC Raises $500,000 From Ryan Budget Affront

DSCC Raises $500,000 From Ryan Budget Affront

Michael Bennet is the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $500,000 in its recent campaign attacking House Republicans — and possible Senate candidates — for supporting Rep. Paul D. Ryan’s budget blueprint, according to fundraising figures provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call.

“Through targeted online ads, grassroots petitioning, and direct appeals, online and grassroots donors have gone above and beyond what they’ve ever done this early in the cycle since Republicans said they would reintroduce a more draconian version of the Ryan plan,” DSCC Digital Director Jason Rosenbaum said in an emailed statement.

The DSCC took a page from House Democrats’ playbook last week when they attacked specific House Republicans for supporting Ryan’s budget. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has leveled these kinds of attack lines for years on television, and it’s not clear they proved effective on Election Day.

However, attacking the Ryan budget continues to be lucrative among the Democratic Party’s base — especially in online fundraising.

The vast majority — 85 percent — of the DSCC’s recent fundraising campaign against the Ryan budget came in online, while the committee raised the rest via phones, according to a DSCC aide. Mostly low-dollar contributions made up the haul taken in March 7-15.

So just how lucrative is this DSCC fundraising campaign compared to a recent one from its GOP counterpart? The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $75,000 in 24 hours for #StandWithRand, the fundraising pitch coinciding with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s nearly 13-hour filibuster of John O. Brennan’s nomination to the CIA.

Democratic dominance in online fundraising has been well-documented for several cycles, up and down the ticket. On Monday morning, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus detailed a plan to get his party on par with Democrats’ online advantage as part of the new autopsy report on why Republicans lost the 2012 elections.

But in congressional races, that digital divide is most apparent in online fundraising. In 2012, the DSCC raised more than $35 million online — more than double what it brought in via the Internet in the prior cycle. The NRSC declined to give last cycle’s online fundraising tally for that story.

But last cycle, online fundraising records show the DSCC almost doubled the NRSC’s haul in contributions of less than $200 — the kind of small-dollar donations that are typically raised online. The DSCC raised $49 million from small-dollar donors, while the NRSC raised $26 million from the same category of unitemized contributors.

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