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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.

Go deeper

Sep 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The debt ceiling stare down

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congress is fast approaching its deadline to raise the debt ceiling or risk defaulting on the nation's debt, and, as of now, there's no serious plan to stave off what many members are calling the worst-case scenario.

Why it matters: The U.S. has never defaulted on its debt. If Congress doesn't take "extraordinary measures" to finance the government, it would "likely cause irreparable damage to the U.S. economy and global financial markets," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned last week.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 mins ago - Technology

Axios interview: Facebook to try for more transparency

Nick Clegg last year. Photo: Matthew Sobocinski/USA Today via Reuters

Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, tells me the company will try to provide more data to outside researchers to scrutinize the health of activity on Facebook and Instagram, following The Wall Street Journal's brutal look at internal documents.

Driving the news: Clegg didn't say that in his public response to the series. So I called him to push for what Facebook will actually do differently given the new dangers raised by The Journal.

The Exvangelicals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Even as evangelicals maintain their position as the most popular religion in the U.S., a movement of self-described "exvangelicals" is breaking away, using social media to engage tens of thousands of former faithful.

The big picture: Donald Trump's presidency, as well as movements around LGBTQ rights, #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, drew more Americans into evangelical churches while also pushing some existing members away.