The Democratic National Committee entered the midterm elections year “dead broke,” with a paltry $400,000 in party coffers, according to federal records.
The committee finished 2017 with roughly $6.5 million in available cash and about $6.1 million in debt, according to recently released Federal Election Commission filings. That leaves a balance of just $422,582 to start a year that will culminate in midterm elections, in which Democrats are hoping to recapture a majority in the House.
The DNC’s fundraising challenges have been well known since shortly after the 2016 elections, when President Trump defeated front-running Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The committee has been rocked by turmoil, including the resignation of chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz amid leaked emails some say showed DNC brass “rigged” the primaries so Clinton would defeat Sen. Bernie Sanders.
In addition, the selection in February 2017 of former Obama administration official Tom Perez to replace Wasserman Schultz, over Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, sparked discord about the party continuing to hew to its establishment power base. More recently, the DNC has emerged as a key figure in the Russia collusion investigation, amid revelations it helped fund the so-called “anti-Trump” dossier that apparently led, at least in part, to the start of the probe.