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For Immediate Release
March 25, 2004
Contact: Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis
Kelly Huff


WASHINGTON -- The National committees of the two major political parties have reported raising a total of $370.8 million between January 1, 2003 and February 29, 2004, according to a Federal Election Commission summary released today.  National Republican committees, composed of the Republican National Committee (RNC), the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) reported receipts of $256.1 million, while their Democratic counterparts (the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) raised $114.7 million.  The parties reported spending a total of $285.2 million - $193.8 by Republican committees and $91.4 million by Democrats.  Republican committees reported cash on hand as of February 29 of $70.2 million with debts of $52,410 compared with a cash balance of $25.9 million for Democratic party committees whose debts totaled $1 million. 

            Contributions from individuals made up the vast majority of funds raised by the two parties ? 93% of all Republican party receipts and 83% for the Democrats.  All of the financial activity of these committees during 2003-2004 is ?hard money? raised under the limits and prohibitions of the Federal Election Campaign Act.  This is the first election cycle since the passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 which prohibits unrestricted nonfederal or ?soft money? fundraising by national parties.  PAC contributions to Democratic party committees totaled $12.2 million or 11% of receipts.  PACs gave a similar amount ($12.4 million) to Republican committees but this represented only 5% of their receipts.

            Direct contributions to candidates and coordinated expenditures on behalf of general election candidates were modest during this period as they have been at this stage in earlier cycles.  The DCCC did, however, make independent expenditures totaling $1.6 million while the NRCC made independent expenditures of  approximately $607,000 in the special election in Kentucky?s 6th district.

            In addition to summaries for each national committee through February, tables attached to this release provide comparisons with hard money fundraising during nonelection years from 1991 through 2003*.  These tables show significant growth in federal fundraising in 2003 for five of the six national committees.  Only the National Republican Senatorial Committee reported raising less hard money in 2003 than in 2001. 

The following table shows ?hard? and ?soft? money fundraising by national parties in 1999 and 2001, along with ?hard? money receipts in 2003:





Soft Receipts

Hard Receipts

Soft Receipts

Hard Receipts

Hard Receipts














In addition to prohibiting soft money fundraising by national parties, BCRA increased the limits for permissible contributions to these committees from individuals from $20,000 to $25,000 in a calendar year.  The final table attached to this release shows the relative emphasis on individual contributions of varying size for each of the national party committees. 



*Some national parties filed reports on a quarterly basis in prior cycles, so comparisons with earlier years through February 29 are not possible.  BCRA required these committees to file reports on a monthly basis.



National Party Activity January 1, 2003 Through February 29, 2004    [EXCEL] [PDF]

Democratic Party Committee Financial Activity in Non Election Years  [EXCEL] [PDF]

Republican Party Committee Financial Activity in Non Election Years  [EXCEL] [PDF]

National Party Contributions from Individuals by Size - 1999, 2001, 2003  [EXCEL] [PDF]