DNC pulls record fundraising end-of-year hauls leading into critical midterm election year

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(WASHINGTON) -- The Democratic National Committee announced it hit new fundraising highs, raking in $10.7 million in December and $157 million in 2021. Both figures are records for the committee in a non-presidential election year.

The haul by the DNC and its joint fundraising arm, first published by ABC News, provide a war chest to a party that's set to face tough midterm election races across the country as the Biden administration sees poor polling numbers across a wide range of issues.

A new ABC/Ipsos poll finds troubling disapproval numbers for the administration's handling of inflation, the economy, crime, among other issues. Only 1% of Americans believe the state of the economy to be "excellent," according to the polling data, a clear series of hurdles the campaign arm of the Democratic Party must overcome if it wishes to maintain its razor-thin majority on Capitol Hill. Republicans only need to flip five House seats and one Senate seat currently held by Democrats to take both chambers of Congress.

The DNC, helmed by former Senate candidate turned Biden ally Jaime Harrison, was able to rake in large sums of cash, but recent reports allege fissures between Harrison and the White House, according to a report from NBC News.

Neither Harrison nor the White House reportedly have a clear strategy on how to rebound Biden's struggling reputation, either, according to the report. Questions remain if those are obstacles the DNC -- and Harrison -- will navigate alone.

Without mentioning the report by name, Harrison took to Twitter Sunday to defend himself and his work.

"Only in DC … can you break a fundraising record & have folks complain it isn't enough. That's what the DNC did in '21! The DNC work isn't always easy & covid has created its own challenges. Our offices have been closed since 2020, but despite barriers we are making a difference," Harrison tweeted as part of a longer thread.

"To unnamed sources … if you expect me to go away or roll into a ball and whimper… you picked the wrong one. The focus is upending the party of fraud, fear and fascism. You have the mission, now get with the program," Harrison continued.

An advisor to President Joe Biden told ABC News Sunday that it has full confidence in Harrison's leadership at the DNC.

“President Biden and Democrats are united – we’re focused on lowering costs for the American people while talking to the American people about our accomplishments - we created more jobs than in any one year in the history of the country and passed a historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law," the advisor said. "Jaime Harrison has been a critical partner in this effort, helping share our message with the American people, while working to put Democrats in the best position to win in 2022 and 2024."

Democratic South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., defended Harrison's leadership in an interview with CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday morning, saying that the DNC leader believes in "fighting rather than switching."

"He knows what it is to run. He knows what it is to lose," said Clyburn. "Jaime Harrison is just what we need."

And despite potential tumult between leadership and the White House, the DNC saw particular gains in its grassroots fundraising program, which also saw its best off-year pull. The grassroots team brought in $6.1 million in December, while the group's major donor team raised $2.5 million over the last December averages.

One million people donated to the committee in 2021, beating out the previous record set in 2009 by at least 200,000 donors. Its end-of-year push surpassed the group’s $9.1 million haul in November.

The DNC now has $65 million cash on hand, a spokesperson told ABC News, which puts the group near even with late winter totals from the Republican National Committee, who ended November 2021 with more $65 million cash on hand. More recent RNC disclosures are not yet public.

Back in April, the group announced at least a $20 million investment in midterm battlegrounds, sending resources, such as increasing staffing, to key states such as Georgia, Florida, Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin, hoping to replicate the successes in the Georgia runoff elections for this upcoming cycle, Harrison said at the time.

"We're going to start our coalition-building earlier," Harrison said in April, during the announcement of the multi-million dollar investment. "You've heard the criticism of the Democratic Party, 'Why are they just sending people to our community three months before the election?' Well, folks, we are going to end that right now. We are going to start sending people to your community now."

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