Democrats are polling high, progressive candidates are having a great fundraising year, but the DNC is broke

The DNC continues to struggle to raise cash, holding only $6.3M in the bank on Dec 1, compared to the RNC's $40M. But the numbers are deceiving, because 50% of the country want the Democrats to control Congress in 2018 (compared with 39% who want the GOP to retain power) and individual Democrat candidates are having banner years fundraising, especially the progressive, "Sanders Democrats" who break with the party's coziness with the finance industry and big business.

The DNC's empty coffers are the result of a general mistrust of the party establishment: from former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile's revelations that the party "let Clinton's headquarters in Brooklyn [manage the Democratic Party] it desired so she didn't have to inform the party officers how bad the situation was," to the many misdeeds of former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Shultz.

During the Obama years, the DNC was starved of attention and scrutiny as the Obama team did their own fundraising and outreach, with their own systems.

Then there was the DNC's lawyers who literally told a judge that they believed they could ignore all primary votes and choose the party's candidates "in smoke filled back rooms."

I gave money to the DNC in the 2016 election cycle (I also donated to the Sanders campaign and several downticket candidates from the Sanders wing of the party) and so I get a steady stream of fundraising phone-calls and circulars from the DNC. I often tell the phone canvassers that the party's coziness with finance and its position on "smoke-filled back rooms" mean that I have no confidence in the DNC, and send my money directly to the kinds of candidates who are usually pushed out in those smoke-filled back rooms.

On several occasions, the phone canvasser has confessed that they do the same thing.

The national committee's lackluster fundraising is at odds with a wave of enthusiasm Democrats have experienced across the country: A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found 50% of respondents want Democrats to lead Congress after next year's elections and 39% said Republicans—a Democratic lead that has widened since an October poll.

Democrats Struggle to Convert Voter Enthusiasm Into Cash Contributions [Julie Bykowicz/Wall Street Journal]

(via Naked Capitalism)