News Releases, Media Advisories

For Immediate Release:                                                               Contact:  Sharon Snyder
October 29, 1998                                                                                              Ron Harris
                                                                                                                             Ian Stirton
                                                                                                                             Kelly Huff

 

FUNDRAISING SLOWS FOR ’98 ELECTIONS

WASHINGTON – Although candidates for this year’s general election have raised $13 million more and spent $11 million more than their ’96 counterparts, this represents only a modest 2% increase in financial activity.

Pre-election reports filed by U.S. Senate and House candidates in next Tuesday’s elections bring their fundraising totals to $575.3 million. Spending from January 1, 1997, through October 14, 1998 rose to $480 million. Candidates began the last 20 days of the campaign with $179 million cash-on-hand.

Factors which may have influenced the slowdown include fewer open-seat races and fewer competitive districts. Activity in open-seat races, which are typically the most competitive and most expensive, is down by nearly half when compared to the last election. There are only five open-seat Senate races this year rather than the record-setting 13 in 1996, and only 32 open-seat House races, compared with 51 two years ago. One indication of the decline in competitiveness can be found in median activity of House Democratic challengers - median spending is down 25%, and median receipts are down 10%.

In the 34 Senate races, 83 candidates raised $215 million and spent $195 million. This activity represents a 14% increase in fundraising over ’96 levels and a 16% increase in spending. Individuals contributed $135 million, PACs $40 million, and the candidates themselves $23 million. Senate candidates entered the last days of the campaign with $46 million cash-on-hand.

In House races, 928 candidates raised $361 million and spent $285 million. This represents a decline of 3% in receipts and 5% decline in spending over the last election cycle. The breakdown of their funds shows $195 million from individuals, $128 million from PACs, and $22 million from the candidates. They had $133 million on hand for the final weeks before the election.

Fifty-seven percent of the funding for this year’s general election candidates came from individual contributions ($329 million), 29% from PACs ($167 million), and only 8% from the candidates themselves ($46 million), mostly in the form of loans.

Tallies for all Congressional candidates From January 1, 1997, through September 30, 1998, (including primary losers and Special Election activity) reveal a total of $640 million raised and $498 million spent. These figures represent a 4% increase in fundraising over ’96, and a 2% increase in spending.

Information attached to this release offers overall summary data by political party, as well as by candidate status (incumbent, challenger, open-seat), comparable pre-general election summary figures for the past five election cycles, a six-year overview of each Senate campaign, listings of each House race, and candidate rankings. A special table is included with median receipt and disbursement figures for various categories of House candidates, and because of increased interest in the amounts of personal funds, a ranking of those campaigns with the largest amounts.

This release and the data contained in it are also available on the Internet. The FEC address is http://www.fec.gov.

Summary of General Election Campaigns through October 14, 1998

Pre-Election Financial Activity of Senate Campaigns 1988-1998

Pre-Election Financial Activity of House Campaigns 1988-1998

Median House Financial Activity

Summary of All Congressional Campaigns through September 30, 1998

Top 50 Senate - Receipts

Top 50 Senate - Contributions from Individuals

Top 50 Senate - Contributions from Other Committees

Top 50 Senate - Disbursements

Top 50 Senate - Cash on Hand

Top 50 Senate - Debts

Top 50 House - Receipts

Top 50 House - Contributions from Individuals

Top 50 House - Contributions from Other Committees

Top 50 House - Disbursements

Top 50 House - Cash on Hand

Top 50 House - Debts

Listings of Senate General Election Candidates by State Through October 14, 1998

Listings of House General Election Candidates by State Through October 14, 1998