At the end of 2010, as Michael Steele’s tenure as chairman was drawing to a close, the Republican National Committee’s prospects looked bleak. The organization was $23 million in debt, despite the enthusiasm and grassroots energy that had propelled the GOP to historic electoral gains.
But in the past year and a half, with the RNC under the leadership of Reince Preibus, the fundraising dynamic has completely changed. In May, for instance, the RNC raised $34 million, $14 million more than the DNC raised in the same period. And the RNC had $61 million in cash on hand to the DNC’s $31 million.
“It’s a matter of rebuilding trust and credibility at the committee,” says Priebus. “And I would say that any time that you need to do that, that’s a pretty tough place to be. That’s where we were.”
“I think at this point people understand that every dime and every penny at the RNC is important,” Priebus continues, “that our spending is down, that our net take is high, and that our money is being used for the things that I think the RNC is great at, which is funding and orchestrating the ground game, putting an army on the ground to make sure that we’re getting more ballots in the box than our opponents.”