Leading up to the 2024 election, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has encountered financial constraints, recording its lowest cash reserves in nearly seven years. As per the latest Federal Election Commission report, the RNC’s cash on hand has dwindled to $9.1 million, marking a significant decline since February 2015.
Comparatively, at a similar point during the 2016 election cycle, the committee boasted around $20 million, while during Trump’s tenure four years ago, it held a staggering $61 million. In contrast, the Democratic National Committee reported having $17.7 million on hand, almost twice the amount possessed by the RNC.
Oscar Brock, an RNC member from Tennessee, attributed the financial strain to a revenue shortfall. Despite employing routine fundraising strategies like donor meetings, retreats, digital advertising, and direct mail, the party has encountered reduced returns this year. Efforts to avert financial distress have involved cutting down on expenses to prevent the party from sliding into deficit territory.
Sources familiar with the party’s financial landscape pointed out a decline in major donations to the committee in recent years, coupled with a downturn in their small-dollar fundraising initiatives. Reasons for withholding contributions vary, ranging from concerns that donations might aid Trump, waiting until 2024 to donate, to disillusionment with the party leadership.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel acknowledged a current trend wherein donors are more inclined to support individual candidates, suggesting that contributions to the party might surge once a nominee is established. She underscored that donors are presently committed to their chosen candidates and will likely consolidate their support once the nominee is finalized.
Nevertheless, some RNC members attributed the donation decline to internal party issues, particularly McDaniel’s contentious reelection in early 2023, expressing concerns over the party’s electoral performance since 2017.
Meanwhile, both former President Donald Trump and fellow candidate Vivek Ramaswamy have voiced apprehensions about the RNC’s trajectory, with Trump calling for an end to RNC debates and the allocation of resources toward countering Democrats instead. Ramaswamy criticized the RNC’s electoral outcomes, emphasizing the need for accountability within the party and urging McDaniel to resign for the Republican Party’s losses in recent elections.