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For Immediate Release Contact:  Judith Ingram
June 25, 2012 Julia Queen
  Christian Hilland
PDF .pdf version of this news release

*Revised on April 3, 2014

FEC Summarizes 15-Month Campaign Activity of the 2012 Election Cycle

WASHINGTON – Presidential and congressional candidates running in the current election cycle, political parties and political action committees (PACs) collected more than $2.9 billion and disbursed more than $2 billion, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission that cover activity from January 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012. Independent expenditure and electioneering communication filings submitted to the Commission in this 15-month period totaled $101.5 million.

Activity from Jan. 1, 2011 through Mar. 31, 2012
(figures in millions)

         
Filers Receipts Disbursements
2012 Presidential Candidates
$418.9
 
$312.6
 
2012 Congressional Candidates
$884.6
 
$453.5
 
Party Committees
$651.5
 
$489.2
 
PACs
$986.4
 
$785.7
 
Total
$2,941.4
 
 $2,041.0
 
 
Communications Filings
Total
 
Independent Expenditures
$97.2
   
Electioneering Communications
  $4.3
   
Total
$101.5

   

This release summarizes campaign activity through the first 15 months of the 2011-2012 election cycle. Supporting data tables are linked at the end of each summary section below. Future cumulative data summary press releases will be published after each quarterly filing deadline in 2012.

*To maintain consistency with how they had been calculated in prior years, the totals for Party Committees above and the sums for the State and Local Democratic Party Committees (federal funds), State and Local Republican Party Committees (federal funds), Total Other Party and Total lines in the Political Party Committees table were revised on April 3, 2014 to include transfers between party committees and transfers between party committees’ federal and nonfederal accounts that had been inadvertently excluded from the original calculations, and to exclude sums representing the Levin share of Federal Election Activity that had been inadvertently included in the original calculations.

I. Presidential Candidates

Presidential candidates reported raising $418.9 million and spending $312.6 million from January 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012.

The total amount of debt owed by 2012 presidential candidate committees was $13.8 million as of March 31, 2012. These candidates’ combined cash-on-hand was $120.3 million.

The following table summarizes campaign finance activity of presidential candidates through the first quarter of election years since 2000.

15-Month Financial Activity of Presidential Candidates*
(figures in millions)

Year Candidates Receipts Disbursements Debts Owed Cash on Hand
2012 13 $418.9 $312.6 $13.8 $120.3
2008 20 $848.7 $798.2 $71.1 $104.5
2004 12 $429.8 $307.9 $12.8 $124.8
2000 17 $295.0 $280.6 $26.6 $ 13.8

*Includes activity from January 1 of the pre-presidential election year through March 31 of the presidential election year. Only presidential candidates who have raised or spent more than $100,000 are included in this table. Contribution limits are indexed for inflation every cycle.

The receipt totals above include matching funds received for primary election contributions. To become eligible for matching funds, candidates must raise a threshold amount of $100,000 by collecting $5,000 in each of 20 states in amounts no greater than $250 from any individual. Other requirements to be declared eligible by the Commission for matching funds include agreeing to an overall spending limit, abiding by spending limits in each state, using public funds only for legitimate campaign-related expenses, keeping financial records and permitting an extensive campaign audit.

This cycle, the maximum amount aprimary election candidate could receive is $22,810,350. The presidential nominee of each major party may become eligible to receive a public grant of $91,241,400 for the general election campaign. Additional information about the public financing of presidential elections can be found here.

Data summary tables for reports submitted to the Commission through March 31, 2012 by 2012 presidential candidate committees can be found here. Historical campaign finance activity for presidential candidates can be found here.

II. Congressional Candidates

The 1,614 candidates running in the 2012 election cycle for the United States House of Representatives and Senate reported raising a total of $884.6 million and spending $453.5 million between January 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012. House and Senate candidates reported combined total debts of $97.7 million and a combined cash-on-hand of $610.6 million as of March 31, 2012.

The following table summarizes election-year campaign finance activity of House and Senate candidates since 2002.

15-Month Financial Activity of Congressional Candidates*
(figures in millions)

Year Candidates Receipts Disbursements Debts Owed Cash on Hand
2012 1,614 $884.6 $453.5 $97.7 $610.6
2010 1,775 $857.5 $454.3 $99.8 $626.3
2008 1,280 $685.9 $367.6 $60.6 $497.7
2006 1,146 $641.2 $321.5 $61.0 $515.9
2004 1,124 $572.1 $319.7 $71.7 $423.8
2002 1,087 $425.3 $226.3 $64.1 $322.1

*Includes activity from January 1 of the pre-election year through March 31 of the election year. Contribution limits are indexed for inflation every cycle.

The 222 candidates running in the 33 2012 Senate races reported total receipts of $318.3 million, disbursements of $135.3 million, debts of $37.3 million and cash-on-hand totaling $224.9 million.

Campaign committees of the 1,392 House candidates reported total receipts of $566.4 million, disbursements of $318.3 million, debts of $60.4 million and a combined cash-on-hand of $385.7 million. Data summary tables for reports submitted to the Commission through March 31, 2012 by 2012 congressional candidate committees can be found here.

III. Political Party Committees

National, state and local political party committees reported $651.5 million in federal funds receipts, $489.2 million in disbursements, debts of $19.2 million, and a combined cash-on-hand of $173.4 million for the cycle as of March 31, 2012. Of those totals, other party committees* reported receipts of $3.2 million, disbursements of $3 million, debts of $426,173, and a combined cash-on-hand of approximately $547,613 during the same 15-month period.

The following table summarizes campaign finance activity of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), Republican National Committee (RNC), National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (NRSC) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), as well as each party’s state and local committees and other party committees.

Political Party Activity from Jan. 1, 2011 through Mar. 31, 2012
(figures in millions)


Party Committees

Receipts
Disbursements
Debts Owed
Cash on Hand
DNC
$154.8
   
$136.5
 
$4.5
 
$24.4
 
DSCC
$59.7
   
$36.7
 
$0.0
 
$23.7
 
DCCC
$83.6
   
$61.6
 
$0.0
 
$22.8
 
State and Local Democratic
 Party Committees (federal funds)
$73.1
   
$60.5
 
$1.9
 
$10.3
 
Total**
$346.4
   
$270.6
 
$6.5
 
$81.2
 
   
 
 
 
RNC
$123.7
   
$91.7
 
$9.9
 
$32.7
 
NRSC
$56.3
   
$36.8
 
$0.0
 
$19.6
 
NRCC
$73.8
   
$49.1
 
$0.0
 
$27.1
 
State and Local Republican
 Party Committees (federal funds)
$50.6
   
$40.4
 
$2.5
 
$12.1
 
Total**
$301.9
   
$215.6
 
$12.4
 
$91.6
 
   
 
 
 
Total Other Party*   
$3.2
   
$3.0
 
$0.4
   
$0.5
 
   
 
 
 
Total Party Contributions**
   $651.5
   
         $489.2
 
   $19.2
 
  $173.4
 


*Other party committees include the Libertarian National Committee, Libertarian National Congressional Committee, Green Party of the United States, Green Senatorial Campaign Committee, Constitution Party National Committee, and the Reform Party of the United States of America.

**The totals for receipts and disbursements have been adjusted to account for transfers between party committees.

***To maintain consistency with how they had been calculated in prior years, the sums for the State and Local Democratic Party Committees (federal funds), State and Local Republican Party Committees (federal funds), Total Other Party and Total lines were revised on April 3, 2014 to include transfers between party committees and transfers between party committees’ federal and nonfederal accounts that had been inadvertently excluded from the original calculations, and to exclude sums representing the Levin share of Federal Election Activity that had been inadvertently included in the original calculations.

Individuals, for whom contributions to national parties are limited to $30,800 this election cycle, are the largest source of federal funds for party committees. Democratic party committees reported receiving $215.6 million from individuals, while Republican party committees received $235.6 million from individuals. PACs and other political committees contributed $27 million to Democratic party committees and $40.2 million to Republican party committees as of March 31, 2012.

Democratic and Republican House campaign committees transferred more than $9.3 million and more than $9.5 million, respectively, from their campaign accounts to their national congressional party committees. Democratic and Republican U.S. Senate campaign committees transferred $4 million and approximately $45,800, respectively, from their campaign accounts to their national senatorial party committees.

Data summary tables for reports submitted to the Commission through March 31, 2012 by political party committees can be found here.

IV. Political Action Committees (PACs)

Based on reports filed with the Commission through March 31, 2012, 5,667 federal PACs reported total receipts of $986.4 million, disbursements of $785.7 million, debts of $9.6 million, and a combined cash-on-hand of $436.8 million.

The following table summarizes campaign finance activity of PACs based on PAC type from January 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012. This table includes both nonconnected committees and separate segregated funds (SSFs), which have connected organizations such as corporations or labor organizations that establish, administer or raise money on their behalf.

PAC Activity from Jan. 1, 2011 through Mar. 31, 2012
(figures in millions)
PAC Type
PACs
Receipts
Disbursements
Debts Owed
Cash on Hand
Corporate
1,786
$216.8 $191.8   $0.2
$156.0
 
Labor
297
$168.4 $120.9   $0.6
$43.0
 
Nonconnected*
2,442
$421.4 $331.5   $8.2
$138.9
 
Trade
713
$87.8 $72.7   $0.0
$59.1
 
Membership
276
$75.8 $55.1   $0.1
$29.3
 
Cooperative
43
$6.0 $4.6   $0.0
$4.1
 
Corporations without Stock
110
10.3 $9.1   $0.4
$6.5
 
Total**
5,556
$986.4 $785.7   $9.6
$436.8
 

* Nonconnected committees include Leadership PACs, Independent Expenditure-Only Committees and Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts. Independent Expenditure-Only Committees are committees that may receive unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, and labor unions for the purpose of financing independent expenditures and other independent political activity. Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts solicit and accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, labor organizations, and other political committees to a segregated bank account for the purpose of financing independent expenditures, other ads that refer to a federal candidate, and generic voter drives in federal elections, while maintaining a separate bank account, subject to all of the statutory amount limitations and source prohibitions, that is permitted to make contributions to federal candidates.

**The totals in this line may not equal the sum of the numbers in the corresponding columns as these numbers have been rounded. Instead, the bottom-line totals correspond to PAC Table 1.

Contributions by PACs to federal candidates seeking office in 2011 and 2012 totaled $222.2 million as of March 31, 2012. PAC contributions to Senate, House and presidential candidates totaled $42.9 million, $178.2 million and $1.1 million, respectively. Independent Expenditure-Only Committees are prohibited from making contributions to candidates.

Data summary tables for reports submitted to the Commission through March 31, 2012 by PACs can be found here.

V. Independent Expenditures

From January 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012, all independent expenditure filings* reported to the Commission totaled $97.2 million. Independent Expenditure-Only Committees accounted for $78.4 million of all independent expenditure filings received by the Commission, while Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts accounted for $7.6 million. Independent expenditures made by other PACs, persons other than political committees and party committees totaled $3.9 million, $3.8 million and $3.5 million, respectively.

Independent expenditures reported to the Commission in connection with the 2012 presidential election totaled approximately $83.7 million as of March 31, 2012, with approximately $71.2 million reported by Independent Expenditure-Only Committees, $7.6 million reported by Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts and $1.8 million reported by other PACs. Persons other than political committees and party committees reported making $3.1 million and approximately $30,000, respectively, in independent expenditures in connection with the presidential election. Independent expenditures advocating the election of presidential candidates totaled $35 million, while $48.7 million was reported to advocate the defeat of presidential candidates.

Independent expenditures reported in connection with congressional races totaled $13.6 million. Independent Expenditure-Only Committees and party committees, representing the two largest sources of these expenditures, reported $7.3 million and $3.4 million, respectively.  Independent expenditures made by PACs other than Independent Expenditure-Only Committees and Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts totaled approximately $2.1 million. Persons other than political committees reported making approximately $677,000 in independent expenditures in connection with congressional elections, while Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts reported about $69,000.

Independent Expenditure-Only Committees reported total receipts of $193.7 million, disbursements of $118 million, $3.7 million in debt, and a combined cash-on-hand of $79.4 million. Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts reported raising $55.8 million, spending $53 million, debts of approximately $176,000, and a combined cash-on-hand of $7.2 million through March 31, 2012. This data is summarized in detail in the PAC data summary table found here.

Data summary tables for independent expenditure filings submitted to the Commission through March 31, 2012 can be found here.

*Independent expenditures are subject to disclosure requirements once they reach or exceed $10,000 with respect to a given election at any time up to and including the 20th day before an election, and once they reach or exceed $1,000 with respect to a given election, and are made fewer than 20 days, but more than 24 hours, before an election. The totals listed include only the amounts that were reported to the Commission.

VI. Electioneering Communications

Electioneering communication filings totaling $4.3 million* were reported to the Commission as of March 31, 2012. An electioneering communication is a broadcast, cable or satellite communication that refers to a clearly identified federal candidate and is distributed 30 days prior to a primary election or 60 days prior to a general election. These communications do not expressly advocate the election or defeat of a federal candidate.

*These totals do not include electioneering communications that were amended or newly filed in 2011 and 2012 and that disclosed disbursements from different years.

The data summary table for electioneering communication filings submitted to the Commission through March 31, 2012 can be found here.