WASHINGTON — The Latest on political fundraising reports (all times local):
President Donald Trump started his formal re-election campaign earlier than any of his recent predecessors, and that appears to be paying off.
Trump’s campaign says it finished 2017 with more than $22 million on hand. That’s chump change in modern presidential politics and its billion-dollar campaigns, but it still signals Trump’s aggressiveness with the election more than two years away.
The campaign says the president raised almost $2.2 million in direct contributions for his campaign during the final quarter of 2017. He took in another $3.5 million through a fundraising agreement with the Republican National Committee.
The campaign boasts that nearly all of its contributors are small donors who gave $200 or less, a sign the president remains popular with his base despite approval ratings mired in the 30s.
The Democratic National Committee lags its GOP counterpart in fundraising despite the left’s grass-roots energy since President Donald Trump’s election.
But financial disclosure reports at the start of this election year also show other Democratic groups and many individual candidates are in stronger positions.
The Republican National Committee raised $132.5 million in 2017 and ended the year with almost $39 million on hand and no debt. The Democratic committee took in $66 million and had $6.5 million in cash available, but also owed $6.1 million.
Republicans believe their financial advantage will mean a superior campaign organization as they defend their majorities in Congress.
Democrats say they’ll have the resources to win.
Their House campaign committee outraised its GOP counterpart in 2017, and several vulnerable Democratic senators have fundraising edges.