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Democrats Nearly Eliminate Republican Edge In Fundraising

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Republican and Democratic national party committees have nearly matched each other in total fundraising during the first five months of this year, a boost for Democrats who historically have trailed the GOP.

The Democratic National Committee and its House and Senate campaign organizations raised $73.2 million and their Republican counterparts raised $75.8 million through the end of May, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Democrats have spent less than Republicans and hold a 3-to-2 cash-on-hand advantage, but they also have more debt. Democratic committees reported a total of $31.3 million in the bank compared with $21.1 million for Republicans. Democrats have debts of $12.1 million to the Republicans' $6.8 million.

Though congressional elections won't occur until next year, the money totals are important milestones as the parties compete for control of the House, Senate and the White House.

At the same point in the election cycle four years ago, the Republicans had raised $98.3 million and the Democrats had raised $31.6 million.

Of all the groups, the Republican National Committee is now in the best financial position with $15 million in the bank and no debt. Its fundraising represents more than half of the total raised by the three Republican groups.

The Democratic fundraising is more evenly spread, with each committee accounting for about a third of the total. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has the most cash on hand among Democrats with $14.3 million. It also has a $5 million debt.
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