Republican committees outraise Dems in first quarter

The three major Republican state committees outraised their Democratic counterparts in the first quarter of 2012 nearly three to one.

In total, the Republican “big three,” made up of the Republican State committee, the Senate Republican Majority and the Assembly Victory Committee, raised $931,073 in the first three months of 2012, with the state committee leading the way at $798,710, according to the latest reports filed with the Election Law Enforcement Commission.

The three major Democratic committees, made up of the Senate Democratic Majority, the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee and the Democratic State Committee raised $362,576 on the quarter, led by the Assemly Democratic Campaign Commitee, which took in $167,241 on the quarter, according to ELEC.

The GOP maintains nearly $340,000 on hand against $164,000 in the Democrats’ coffers.

The fundraising totals are modest compared to 2011 when all 120 seats in the Legislature were up for election. In the final quarter of 2011, which included the lead up to election day, the “big six” spent nearly $10 million.

“If the last quarter of 2011 was the party, the first quarter of 2012 was the hangover. Both parties are now getting back on their feet and just beginning to look ahead to future campaigns,” said ELEC Executive Director Jeff Brindle.

Brindle said he expects the pace of fundraising to pick up as the year progresses because of this year’s presidential and congressional races. Also, the governor’s seat and all 120 legislative seats are up for re-election in 2013.

The fundraising dominance of the three major committees continues a trend that began with the ascent of Gov. Chris Christie, a popular Republican who has opened the wallets of national donors to the state GOP.

Fundraising among the three major Republican committees has more than doubled since the first quarter of 2008, when the committees brought in $409,000.  At the same time, fundraising among Democrats has fallen by moré than $150,000. Republican committees outraise Dems in first quarter