The Senate Republicans’ campaign arm raises $8 million in August

The Senate Republicans’ campaign arm raised $8 million last month, a new record for the group during the August of an off-year, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The National Republican Senatorial Committee saw a spike in donations following criticism of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and amid the rising cases in COVID-19. It’s also reporting a record number of new donors, and saw the biggest digital fundraising month so far this cycle.

By the numbers, according to data viewed by Axios:

Total raised in August: $8 millionCash on hand: $25.24 millionAugust donations: 175,552Average donation: $45.17August first-time donors: 18,981August donations under $200: 174,028Total August donations under $200: $4.96 million

The big picture: The NRSC’s five best off-year fundraising months — and seven of its top 10 — have all come in 2021.

It’s raising an average of about $8.3 million per month this year, up from $5.5 million in 2019 and $4.5 million in 2017.It’s not just a GOP phenomenon, though: the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee also is putting up huge off-year numbers.It’s roughly on pace with Republicans in terms of fundraising this year.

Yes, but: The NRSC managed to pay off all of its outstanding debts earlier in 2021.

The DSCC has substantially paid down the $20 million it still owed at the beginning of the year, but as of last month, it still had a $2 million debt outstanding.The NRSC also ended August with $25 million in the bank, which was more than double what its Democratic counterpart reported a month earlier.

What we’re hearing: NRSC Chairman Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) plans to present the new data to the GOP conference at their lunch Tuesday afternoon.

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