The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is having a tough time encouraging donors to contribute funds to the national organization as the party struggles to rebrand after its 2016 election loss.
“Donors, small and large, are so over the party,” Jane Kleeb, chair of the Nebraska party told Politico, commenting on the failure of DNC chairman Tom Perez to refocus the party.
“Everybody thinks that some magic three-page document and some magic tagline is going to turn everything around for us,” Kleeb said. “But this is very typical work.”
Though donors continue to support individual candidates and causes, the DNC’s fundraising troubles may imperil the party’s strategy for 2018 elections. The party raised around $4 million in September, compared to the Republican National Committee’s haul of $10 million in the same period.
The Republican National Committee also has a substantially bigger war chest, reporting $44 million cash on hand at the beginning of October, compared to the DNC’s $7 million, The Hill reported Saturday.
The DNC’s new direction, outlined by Perez at the start of 2017 after the Democrats failed to win control of either the presidency, the House or the Senate in 2016, is mainly to oppose President Donald Trump’s agenda and to try to gain control of local and state positions.
Donors and top Democrats have expressed a lack of confidence that the Perez and deputy DNC chair Keith Ellison will be able to improve its track record of selecting good candidates and encouraging voter turnout.
“If you look at what Tom is trying to do, and Keith [Ellison], it really is a turnaround of the whole organization,” Washington state chairwoman Tina Podlodowski told Politico. “It’s going to take a little time to turn it around.”
Perez has focused fundraising efforts on traditionally Democratic areas with events in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts earlier this summer, and Seattle and San Francisco in recent weeks, Politico reports. But some donors are waiting to see the party bring in new talent before they sign more checks.
“I’ve had enough dinners,” longtime donor John Morgan, an Orlando, Fla., lawyer who may make his own bid for governor in 2018, told Politico. “I’m not really interested. I’m going to let them get new blood. I can’t get motivated.”
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