Spotlight: U.S. Republicans outpace Dems in fundraising, but elections still far off

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-25 13:00:05|Editor: ZX
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by Matthew Rusling

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Republicans have recently raised funds at record-breaking levels. While some experts say this bodes well for the re-election of U.S. President Donald Trump, others argue that Trump's re-election is not a foregone conclusion, and note that the 2020 elections are still a long way off.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced earlier this week that the party brought in a record-breaking 20.8 million U.S. dollars in July, the RNC's largest ever off-cycle July haul, bringing the total to 177.9 million dollars for the 2019-2020 cycle.

"Our fundraising success is further evidence that the American people like the pro-growth agenda and economic record that the Trump administration and Republicans continue to deliver, and this puts us in a strong position to secure more Republican victories in 2020," she said.

Republican strategist and TV news personality Ford O'Connell told Xinhua that "this is a good sign for the Republicans."

"Clearly the Democratic fundraising has been anemic. There's a lot more enthusiasm for Trump than the media would let on. Second, when you look at the Democrats, they are conflicted, but there's also not a lot of enthusiasm in the party apparatus."

"The other question you have to ask is if Democrats pick the wrong candidate, are they all going to get on board?" O'Connell said.

Others, however, say that despite the GOP's record fundraising, that does not necessarily mean Trump will clinch the White House in 2020.

"The party that raises the most money is not always the one that wins," Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Darrell West told Xinhua.

"Incumbent presidents always are able to raise money because they control the machinery of government and donors want access to decision-makers," West said.

"There are lots of big money people who will contribute to the Republican party in hopes of influencing policy decisions. That does not guarantee a GOP victory," West said.

"Democrats will raise a lot of money from small donors who are upset at Trump's policies. In the end, each party will be well-funded and money will not decide the election," West said.

"The race will be decided on big things such as the economy, views about Trump, and the future vision people have about the United States." West said.

In recent months Democrats ramped up their attacks on the GOP, but that didn't seem to impact Republicans' fundraising ability.

While a number of polls showed Trump are losing to several Democrats running for the 2020 nomination, Democrats merely raised 7.7 million U.S. dollars in July, less than half of Republicans' haul that month.

Democrats' leading candidates took in a combined 96 million U.S. dollars in the second quarter of 2019. Those individuals included Mayor Pete Buttigieg, at 24.9 million U.S. dollars, former Vice President Joe Biden, at 22 million U.S. dollars, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, at 19 million U.S. dollars, Sen. Bernie Sanders, at 18 million U.S. dollars, and Kamala Harris, at nearly 12 million U.S. dollars.