Continuing a downward trajectory we’ve been watching for some months now, as reported by Politico’s Morning Score today, for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) under chairman Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado–the organization responsible for preserving the GOP’s Senate majority from challengers to the left and right alike continues to hemorrhage funds, spending more than it raised for the third consecutive month:
FIRST IN SCORE — DSCC raises $4.4 million, NRSC raises less than it spends for third month in a row: The DSCC outraised the NRSC in September, according to FEC records, banking $4.4 million to the NRSC’s $2.1 million. For the third month in a row, the NRSC spent more ($2.4 million) than it raised. The DSCC spent $6 million, including a $4 million loan repayment. The DSCC had $15.7 million on hand and about $8 million in debt at the end of September, while the NRSC had $14.8 million and $10.8 million in debt.
Obviously, the combination of being lapped in fundraising by the Democrats and spending more money than you’re bringing in is not a sustainable model. We’ve talked about some of the reasons for the recent drying up of support for the NRSC, which has been at least partly attributed to donor dissatisfaction with the lack of achievements since President Donald Trump took office with Republican majorities in the House and Senate. The more recent insurgency by former White House strategist Steve Bannon against NRSC-anointed candidates and even incumbent Republicans has further shifted the momentum away from Gardner’s staid NRSC.
All of these excuses bear their due consideration, up to a point. But this is now the sixth straight month that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has outraised the NRSC, and the Democrats raised over double what the GOP did in September. Wherever they choose to point fingers, the fact is that this is becoming a major deficiency for Republicans going into easily their highest-risk election cycle since 2008, and probably before even then. The NRSC’s long-term fundraising plight is clear evidence of weakness at a time Republicans cannot afford it.
There have been a number of occasions since Gardner became Colorado’s highest-ranking Republican elected official where we have been compelled to note how his performance on the national stage is not living up to the wunderkind reputation the local media helped manufacture for him in the 2014 elections. In word and deed, Gardner is not as good a politician as he and his institutional enablers doggedly play him up to be.
Here is just the latest case in point.