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For Immediate Release
May 17, 2006
Contact: Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
Kelly Huff
George Smaragdis




WASHINGTON – – The two major parties have reported raising $555.2 million in federally allowable “hard money” at the national, state, and local levels in the first fifteen months of the 2006 election cycle.  This total is 5% higher than the total raised through a comparable period in 2004, and 1% less than was reported from all sources (including both hard and soft money) through March of 2002, the last campaign with no Presidential race on the ballot. 

Democratic committees reported raising $221.7 million between January 1, 2005 and March 31, 2006.  This is an increase of 23% over the same period in 2004.  Their Republican counterparts raised $333.4 million through the end of March, 4% less than 2004.  Federal fundraising by parties has often been stable or even declined slightly in cycles without a Presidential campaign.

While Democrats closed the relative gap in fundraising with their Republican counterparts, Republican party committees still raised nearly $112 million more than Democrats through March. 

The greatest percentage increase in fundraising came from the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee whose $56.4 million total was 65% higher than the comparable period in 2004. The National Republican Senatorial Committee reported receipts of $50.4 million, a 29% increase from the last election cycle.

Overall, Republican committees reported cash balances totaling $101.9 million as of March 31, 2006 with debts of $2.4 million, while Democratic committees held $72.5 million in cash-on-hand and $2.7 million in debt.

The 2006 election cycle is the second in which national parties have been prohibited from receiving “soft money” (funds from sources or in amounts not permitted in federal elections) as a result of implementation of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA). 

The following table shows “hard money” fundraising by national party committees through March of 2006 and 2004 compared with both hard and soft money receipts from previous cycles.

Receipts of National Party Committees

Through March 31 of the Election Year



Federal and

Federal and







































(millions of dollars)

Contributions from individuals continue to be the largest source of funds for all party committees, representing more than 78% of all Democratic party funds and 89% of Republican fundraising. One of the changes included in BCRA was an increase in contribution limits for individuals giving to national party committees.  The limit changed from $20,000 per year prior to passage of BCRA to $25,000 in 2003-2004 and $26,700 in 2005-2006 (due to indexing for inflation). Tables attached to this release show how the distribution of contributions from individuals by size has changed over recent election cycles. 

Contributions from PACs, whose limits were not changed by BCRA, accounted for 10% of overall Democratic receipts and 6% for Republicans. 

Transfers to party committees from the campaigns of individual members of Congress have played an increasing role in party finance during recent cycles. Nearly 20% of funds raised by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee through March of 2006 came directly from Democratic House members’ campaigns.  Republican members accounted for 6% of National Republican Congressional Committee funds.  Tables in this release list Members of Congress who have transferred campaign funds to the national party campaign committees.  Other tables include financial overviews for national and state/local committees of the two major parties for the 15 month period.  Transfers from national to state parties are listed by state, as are national party proceeds from joint-fundraising committees and transfers from candidate committees to the national Senatorial and Congressional committees. 


Democratic Party Committee Financial Activity [Excel] [PDF]

Republican Party Committee Financial Activity [Excel] [PDF]

National Party Contributions from Individuals by Size [Excel] [PDF]

Senatorial Campaign Committee Contributions from Individuals by Size [Excel] [PDF]

Congressional Campaign Committee Contributions from Individuals by Size [Excel] [PDF]

Campaign Committee Transfers to Party Congressional Committees [Excel] [PDF]

Joint-Fundraising and Campaign Committee Transfers to Party Senate Committees [Excel] [PDF]

National Party Transfers to States [Excel] [PDF]