Democratic party's fundraising sluggish in July

By Ken Thomas

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Aug. 20 2011 10:28 p.m. MDT

WASHINGTON — The Democratic party's fundraising slowed in July, hurt by the cancellation of events headlined by President Barack Obama as he negotiated a debt ceiling deal with Republicans.

The Democratic National Committee raised $6.7 million in July, including $2.2 million for the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising account by the DNC and Obama's campaign. The Republican National Committee raised $6.1 million during the month.

Summertime is typically a slow period for political money as many donors are on vacation and few events are held. July was the DNC's lowest monthly amount since Obama launched his re-election campaign in April — the party raised about half of what it had collected in previous months.

Obama did not attend any fundraisers in July and Democratic officials said most of the victory fund money came from events held by first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and others. Through the end of July, the DNC reported $20.1 million in the bank. It ended the month with $11.2 million in debt.

The RNC ended the month with $7.6 million in the bank. Chairman Reince Priebus has tried to reduce the party's large debt since taking over for former chairman Michael Steele in January. RNC officials estimate that they inherited $24 million in debt when Priebus started as chairman, an amount that has been reduced to less than $17 million.

Obama's campaign and the DNC raised a combined $86 million during the spring fundraising quarter ending in late June, giving the president a large money advantage over any potential Republican rival.

The campaign had to cancel 10 events while Obama and his staff remained in Washington for the showdown over raising the government's debt limit. As a result, the campaign has said it does not expect to raise as much in the summer as it did during the spring.

In August, Obama has held fundraisers in Chicago, New York and Washington.

Separately, the campaign arm of the House Democrats raised $4 million during the month, while their Republican counterparts raised more than $3.8 million. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ended the month with $8.1 million in the bank and $4 million in debt. The National Republican Congressional Committee wrapped up the month with $11.2 million in cash on hand and $2.7 million in debt.

Ken Thomas can be reached at http://twitter.com/AP_Ken_Thomas

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