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For Immediate Release Contact:  Judith Ingram
September 26, 2012 Julia Queen
  Christian Hilland

PDF .pdf version of this news release

*Revised on April 8, 2014

FEC Summarizes 18-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) received more than $4 billion and disbursed nearly $3 billion, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission that cover activity from January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. Filings submitted to the Commission in this 18-month period indicated that disbursements for independent expenditures and electioneering communications totaled $165.5 million.

Activity from Jan. 1, 2011 through Jun. 30, 2012
(figures in millions)

Filers
Receipts
Disbursements
 
2012 Presidential Candidates
$601.9
$496.7
 
2012 Congressional Candidates
$1,210.4
$786.8
 
Party Committees
$906.2
$625.9
 
PACs
$1,290.3
$1,060.5
 
Total
$4,008.8
$2,969.9
 
 
   
Communications Filings
Total
Independent Expenditures
$161.1
 
Electioneering Communications
$4.4
**  
Total
$165.5
 

This release summarizes campaign activity through the first 18 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 8, 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.

**Amounts have been updated to reflect corrected figures for electioneering communications and presidential disbursements through June 30, 2012.

I. Presidential Candidates

Presidential candidates reported raising $601.9 million and spending $496.7 million from January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012.

The total amount of debt owed by 2012 presidential candidate committees was $16.4 million as of June 30, 2012. These candidates’ combined cash-on-hand was $124.2 million.

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

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

Year
Candidates
Receipts
Disbursements
Debts Owed
Cash on Hand
2012**
13
$601.9
$496.7
$16.4
$124.2
2008**
20
$1,057.8
$1,000.8
$79.9
$128.3
2004**
12
$575.9
$468.2
$10.6
$104.6
2000**
17
$332.5
$311.9
$5.7
$19.4

*Includes activity from January 1 of the pre-presidential election year through June 30 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.

**Amounts have been updated to reflect corrected figures for 2012 presidential disbursements, debts owed and cash on hand through June 30, 2012.

The receipt totals above include matching funds received for primary election contributions. To become eligible for matching funds, a candidate 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 include agreeing to an overall spending limit, abiding by spending limits in each state, using public funds only for qualified campaign-related expenses, keeping financial records and permitting an extensive campaign audit.

This cycle, the maximum amount a primary election candidate could receive is $22,810,350. As of June 30, 2012, the Commission certified payments for primary matching funds to two presidential campaigns, $351,961.10 to one and $230,058.91 to another, for a total of $582,020.01. 

The presidential nominee of each major party may become eligible to receive a public grant of $91,241,400 for the general election campaign. As of the close of this 18-month period, no candidates had received general election grant money. Additional information about the public financing of presidential elections can be found here.

Data summary tables for reports submitted to the Commission through June 30, 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 1,848 candidates running in the 2012 election cycle for the United States House of Representatives and Senate reported raising a total of more than $1.2 billion and spending $786.8 million between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. House and Senate candidates reported combined total debts of $113.5 million and combined total cash-on-hand of $602.3 million as of June 30, 2012.

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

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

Year
Candidates
Receipts
Disbursements
Debts Owed
Cash on Hand
2012
1,848
$1,210.4
 
$786.8
 
$113.5
 
$602.3
 
2010
2,068
$1,183.6
 
$756.3
 
$140.7
 
$654.2
 
2008
1,461
$946.3
 
$571.3
 
$81.9
 
$554.2
 
2006
1,343
$880.7
 
$500.1
 
$64.1
 
$581.2
 
2004
1,300
$789.8
 
$485.1
 
$81.2
 
$476.3
 
2002
1,254
$610.1
 
$366.0
 
$79.8
 
$385.6
 

*Includes activity from January 1 of the pre-election year through June 30 of the election year. Contribution limits are indexed for inflation every cycle. The totals in the 2012 row may differ slightly from the sum of the numbers in the two subsequent paragraphs as the numbers have been rounded.

The 242 candidates running in the 33 Senate races in 2012 reported total receipts of $441.5 million, disbursements of $278.2 million, debts of $37.5 million and cash-on-hand of $205.5 million.

The 1,606 candidates running in 435 House races reported combined total receipts of $769 million, disbursements of $508.6 million, debts of $75.9 million and cash-on-hand of $396.7 million.

Data summary tables for reports submitted to the Commission through June 30, 2012 by 2012 congressional candidate committees can be found here.

III. Political Party Committees

National, state and local political party committees reported combined total receipts of $906.2 million in federal funds, disbursements of $625.9 million, debts of $19.5 million, and cash-on-hand of $287.5 million for the 2012 election cycle as of June 30, 2012. Of those totals, other party committees* reported receipts of $4.2 million, disbursements of $4.2 million, debts of $259,540, and combined cash-on-hand of $591,044 during the same 18-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 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 Jun. 30, 2012***
(figures in millions)

Party Committees

Receipts

Disbursements

Debts Owed

Cash on Hand

DNC
$209.7
 
$178.4
 
$5.4
 
$37.5
DSCC
$77.8
 
$47.1
 
$0.0
 
$31.4
DCCC
$107.3
 
$74.9
 
$0.0
 
$33.2
State and Local Democratic
 Party Committees (federal funds)
$115.3
 
$95.7
 
$1.5
 
$14.2
Total**
$464.4
 
$350.5
 
$6.9
 
$116.3
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
RNC
$209.3
 
$120.6
 
$9.9
 
$89.4
NRSC
$68.9
 
$44.7
 
$0.0
 
$24.3
NRCC
$97.4
 
$59.0
 
$0.0
 
$41.0
State and Local Republican
 Party Committees (federal funds)
$70.3
 
$55.3
 
$2.5
 
$15.9
Total**
$437.6
 
$271.2
 
$12.4
 
$170.6
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total Other Party*
$4.2
 
$4.2
 
$0.3
 
$0.6
 
 
 
Total Party Contributions**
$906.2
 
$625.9
 
$19.5
 
$287.5

*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 receipt and disbursement totals in this line may not equal the sum of the numbers in the corresponding columns as the numbers 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 8, 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 $278.4 million from individuals, while Republican party committees received $294.3 million from individuals. PACs and other political committees contributed $32.1 million to Democratic party committees and $55.1 million to Republican party committees as of June 30, 2012.

Democratic and Republican House campaign committees transferred more than $16.8 million and more than $26 million, respectively, from their campaign accounts to their national congressional party committees. Democratic and Republican U.S. Senate campaign committees transferred $5.1 million and approximately $50,800, respectively, from their campaign accounts to their national senatorial party committees.

Data summary tables for reports submitted to the Commission through June 30, 2012 by political party committees can be found here.

IV. Political Action Committees (PACs)

Based on reports filed with the Commission through June 30, 2012, 5,991 federal PACs reported total receipts of nearly $1.3 billion, disbursements of over $1 billion, debts of $8.8 million, and a combined cash-on-hand of $575.3 million.

The following table summarizes campaign finance activity of PACs based on PAC type from January 1, 2011 through June 30, 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 Jun. 30, 2012
(figures in millions)

PAC Type
PACs
Receipts
Disbursements
Debts Owed
Cash on Hand
Corporate
1,816
$264.8
 
$241.4
 
$0.2
$135.8
Labor
300
$203.1
 
$157.6
 
$0.6
$129.5
Nonconnected*
2,724
$599.6
 
$478.7
 
$7.4
$188.1
Trade
717
$107.4
 
$92.6
 
$0.0
$62.9
Membership
277
$96.1
 
$73.0
 
$0.1
$50.4
Cooperative
43
$6.7
 
$5.7
 
$0.0
$4.3
Corporations    without Stock
114
$12.6
 
$11.5
 
$0.4
$4.1
Total**
5,991
$1,290.3
 
$1,060.5
 
$8.8
$575.3

* 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 $292.4 million as of June 30, 2012. PAC contributions to Senate, House and presidential candidates totaled $55.9 million, $235.2 million and $1.3 million, respectively. Independent Expenditure-Only Committees are prohibited from making contributions to candidates.

Data summary tables for reports submitted to the Commission through June 30, 2012 by PACs can be found here.

V. Independent Expenditures

From January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, all independent expenditure filings* reported to the Commission totaled $161.1 million. Independent Expenditure-Only Committees accounted for $128.2 million of all independent expenditure filings received by the Commission, while Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts accounted for $8 million. Independent expenditures made by persons other than political committees totaled $9.9 million. Independent expenditures by other PACs and party committees totaled $9.6 million and $5.5 million, respectively.

Independent expenditures reported to the Commission in connection with the 2012 presidential election totaled approximately $115.6 million as of June 30, 2012, with approximately $98.9 million reported by Independent Expenditure-Only Committees, $7.6 million reported by Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts and $4.0 million reported by other PACs. Persons other than political committees and party committees reported making $5 million and more than $47,000, respectively, in independent expenditures in connection with the presidential election. Independent expenditures advocating the election of presidential candidates totaled $41.2 million, while $74.4 million was reported to advocate the defeat of presidential candidates.

Independent expenditures reported in connection with congressional races totaled $45.5 million. Independent Expenditure-Only Committees, the largest source of these expenditures, reported $29.3 million. Independent expenditures made by PACs (other than Independent Expenditure-Only Committees and Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts) and party committees totaled approximately $5.6 million and $5.4 million, respectively. Persons other than political committees reported making approximately $4.9 million in independent expenditures in connection with congressional elections, while Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts reported more than $358,000.

Independent Expenditure-Only Committees reported total receipts of $305.4 million, disbursements of $200.4 million, $2.6 million in debt, and a combined cash-on-hand of $108.9 million. Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts reported raising $79.2 million, spending $75.2 million, debts of more than $204,000, and combined cash-on-hand of $8.4 million through June 30, 2012. This data is summarized in detail in the PAC data summary tables found here.

Data summary tables for independent expenditure filings submitted to the Commission through June 30, 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 $4.4 million* were reported to the Commission as of June 30, 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 June 30, 2012 can be found here.

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