In the wake of the Kentucky Senate primary, there have been charges on Twitter that the results were rigged by the DNC. Since 2016, it is standard to see any result that people do not like met with charges of the DNC rigging the election. However, this is not the case, and this article will explain what the various Hill Committees within the Democratic Party actually do.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is the overarching branch of the Democratic Party. This is the group that focuses only on the national level offices – that means the presidency. They are in charge of writing the platform that the party will “run on” and are in charge of providing funds for the presidential nominee.
Prior to the primary, they set the election calendar for the primary and set up the rules for the primary. However, the vast amount of their time is in the planning of the Democratic National Convention, where they will be nominating their presidential candidate. The DNC also fundraises on behalf of the various state parties and is the source of most of the money that cash strapped parties receive.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is the fundraising arm for the Democratic Senate caucus. Their job is to get a majority in the Senate and maintain it. They do this by getting all of the safe members to donate money to them. Then, they distribute it out to the tossup races. The DSCC also recruits candidates to run for the Senate. An example would be Steve Bullock, who the DSCC recruited to run for the Montana Senate election.
The DSCC does not help people who are in competitive primaries directly,. They do open up channels that can be used to increase fundraising and can convince stakeholders in the states to back you via an endorsement. After the primary election, they will supply direct funds and staff to frontline campaigns.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is the fundraising arm for the House of Representatives. They do the exact same thing that the DSCC does, just one level lower. There is some animosity between both of those organizations because they fight over candidates.
A good example of this is Nevada. The DSCC wanted Jackie Rosen to run for Senate but the DCCC wanted her to stay in the third district so it would be safer. After the primary on frontline races, they will help run the campaign. This makes sure that the money and staff the DCCC supplies are used correctly. The last thing that any of the Hill Committees want is for their money to be wasted.
The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) is the fundraising arm for governors. They provide financial and electoral support to governors during the general elections. This is one of the smaller organizations and does not have as many resources as the other groups.
There is also the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC). This is the group whose job is elect Democrats to various positions in state government. This group has the least amount of resources, so they tend to pick and choose who to support. They generally work to fund coordinated campaigns with the DSCC and the DCCC in order to pool their resources together for the benefit of the party.
What about the Republicans?
The Republican Party has their own versions of the DSCC, DCCC, and DNC. They are the RNC, the NRSC, and the NRCC. These Hill Committees do the exact same things that the Democratic versions do, just the other way around.
Who controls the elections?
None of the groups mentioned above have any control over elections. The closest you get to that is the DNC providing the rules for picking up delegates during the primary. Usually, the most that the Hill Committees get involved in is when they endorse candidates. These endorsements usually lead to higher fundraising numbers which can help with running a campaign.
The Hill Committees rarely give campaigns direct help during primaries. There is one major exception to that, though. The DSCC and DCCC tend to support incumbents in competitive primaries. This is because the vast majority of their funding comes from members fundraising for them. If they turn around and start using that money to help primary out members of the party in good standing, the amount of money that they would be bringing in would dry up in an instant.
The organizations that actually run elections in each of the states is different from state to state. Generally, it is either that state’s Secretary of State or the State Board of Elections that control how elections are conducted. Those organizations rarely have any contact with the DCCC, DSCC, DNC. The odds that they rig elections for entries like them are astronomically low.