Sep 14, 2021 - Politics & Policy

First look: Senate GOP's campaign arm raises $8 million in August

Senator Rick Scott, a Republican from Florida, speaks during a news conference

Sen. Rick Scott (second from left) and other Senate Republican leaders. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate Republicans' campaign arm raised $8 million last month, a new record for the group during the August of an off-year, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The National Republican Senatorial Committee saw a spike in donations following criticism of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and amid the rising cases in COVID-19. It's also reporting a record number of new donors, and saw the biggest digital fundraising month so far this cycle.

By the numbers, according to data viewed by Axios:

  • Total raised in August: $8 million
  • Cash on hand: $25.24 million
  • August donations: 175,552
  • Average donation: $45.17
  • August first-time donors: 18,981
  • August donations under $200: 174,028
  • Total August donations under $200: $4.96 million

The big picture: The NRSC's five best off-year fundraising months — and seven of its top 10 — have all come in 2021.

  • It's raising an average of about $8.3 million per month this year, up from $5.5 million in 2019 and $4.5 million in 2017.
  • It's not just a GOP phenomenon, though: the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee also is putting up huge off-year numbers.
  • It's roughly on pace with Republicans in terms of fundraising this year.

Yes, but: The NRSC managed to pay off all of its outstanding debts earlier in 2021.

  • The DSCC has substantially paid down the $20 million it still owed at the beginning of the year, but as of last month, it still had a $2 million debt outstanding.
  • The NRSC also ended August with $25 million in the bank, which was more than double what its Democratic counterpart reported a month earlier.

What we're hearing: NRSC Chairman Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) plans to present the new data to the GOP conference at their lunch Tuesday afternoon.

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