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  • Press Release

Congressional Campaign Expenditures Total $772 Million

January 2, 2003

News Releases, Media Advisories

FEC Home Page

For Immediate Release
January 02, 2003
Contact: Bob Biersack
Ron Harris
Ian StirtonBob Biersack
Kelly Huff
WASHINGTON – General election candidates for the U.S. House and Senate spent a total of $772.3 million between January 1, 2001 and November 25, 2002, according to a Federal Election Commission compilation released today. This represents a decline of 10% from the record amounts spent in a comparable period during the 2000 election cycle. Fundraising by these candidates totaled $821.8 million through late November, also 10% lower than the previous cycle.

Candidates in special elections spent an additional $18.7 million in 2001 and 2002, and candidates who lost in primaries reported $107 million in spending through September 30, 2002. All campaigns will file year-end reports covering the remainder of 2002 at the end of January.

The decline in financial activity was limited to Senate campaigns, where receipts totaled $282.3 million and disbursements were $272.6 million. These represent declines of 23% in receipts and 25% in disbursements when compared with the 2000 campaign. Senate races are inherently difficult to compare, however, because the states holding elections vary from year to year, and because individual races or candidates can have significant impact on the overall totals. For example, the open seat campaigns in New York and New Jersey in 2000 generated large spending totals that were not matched in the most expensive races in 2002.

House candidates raised $539.5 million, nearly unchanged from 2000 totals, and spent $499.7 million, up 1% from the previous cycle. This follows increases of about 30% in House financial activity from 1998 to 2000.

The general pattern of financial activity in 2002 campaigns can also be seen in the overall totals for general election winners:

Financial Activity of Winning Congressional Candidates through Late November of the Election Year
2002 2000 1998 1996 1994 1992 1990
Raised $167.5 $243.9 $160.8 $119.8 $145.7 $116.7 $119.9
Spent $159.9 $238.6 $155.0 $122.3 $144.2 $120.5 $111.7
Contrib from PACs $40.3 $30.4 $35.1 $27.5 $31.7 $31.7 $30.9
2002 2000 1998 1996 1994 1992 1990
Raised $411.8 $398.2 $322.3 $318.0 $240.6 $228.8 $194.2
Spent $374.5 $355.0 $277.3 $287.4 $220.7 $230.7 $171.6
Contrib from PACs $175.6 $163.6 $132.1 $122.9 $97.3 $96.5 $90.8
in millions of dollars

Contributions from individuals continued to represent the largest source of funds for congressional candidates, providing $451.5 million or 54% of all receipts. PACs contributed $258 million through November 25, representing about 31% of all fundraising. Candidates themselves contributed and loaned a total of $70.3 million to their campaigns which was nearly 9% of receipts.

While House campaigns showed little overall change when compared to the 2000 cycle, tables attached to this release reveal substantial shifts in financial activity for different types of candidates in House races. There were slight increases in median financial activity for House incumbents and open-seat candidates during the current campaign, but median receipts and disbursements by House challengers of both parties were lower in dollar terms during the 2002 campaign than in any election since 1992.

Median spending by Democratic challengers declined by 65% when compared with 2000 and median spending by Republican challengers fell 19%. In addition, there were fewer incumbents of both parties who won with 55% of the vote or less than in 2000 and no increase in open-seat races with small victory margins in spite of the reapportionment and redistricting efforts that followed the 2000 census.


[Tables are in EXCEL format which can be viewed using Microsoft Excel available from Microsoft]

General Election Campaign Finance Through November 25, 20002

Senate General Election Campaigns 2001-2002

House General Election Campaigns 2001-2002

Median House Campaign Receipts by Type of Campaign

Nonincumbent House Campaign Receipts 1992-20002

Median Activity for House Nonincumbent Winners and their Opponents

Median Activity in Close House Races

Senate Campaign Finance in Post-Election Time Period Only

House Campaign Finance in Post-Election Time Period Only

Top 50 Senate Receipts Top 50 House Receipts
Top 50 Senate Contributions from Individuals Top 50 House Contributions from Individuals
Top 50 Senate Contributions from Other Committees Top 50 House Contributions from Other Committees
Top 50 Senate Contributions and Loans from the Candidate Top 50 House Contributions and Loans from the Candidate
Top 50 Senate Disbursements Top 50 House Disbursements
Top 50 Senate Cash on Hand Top 50 House Cash on Hand
Top 50 Senate Debts Top 50 House Debts
Top 50 House Incumbent Receipts Top 50 House Challenger Receipts
Top 50 House Incumbent Contributions from Individuals Top 50 House Challenger Contributions from Individuals
Top 50 House Incumbent Contributions from Other Committees Top 50 House Challenger Contributions from Other Committees
Top 50 House Incumbent Disbursements Top 50 House Challenger Disbursements
Top 50 House Incumbent Cash On Hand Top 50 House Challenger Cash on Hand
Top 50 House Incumbent Debts Top 50 House Challenger Debts
Top 50 House Open Seat Receipts
Top 50 House Open Seat Contributions from Individuals
Top 50 House Open Seat Contributions from Other Committees
Top 50 House Open Seat Disbursements
Top 50 House Open Seat Cash on Hand
Top 50 House Open Seat Debts

State by State Listings for Senate Campaigns

House Campaign Summaries


1. Figures in the first two tables and the detailed listings of candidates cover from January 1, 2001, or whenever the campaign registered during the year, through November 25, 2002 or the last report filed by the campaign as indicated.

2. Net receipt and net disbursement figures are total receipts and total disbursements, as reported by the campaigns, minus any money transferred between committees of the same campaign.

3. Columns entitled "contrib from other cmtes" are moneys contributed to campaigns by PACs and other committees as reported by the campaigns. Other committees include primarily committees of other candidates.

4. On the Senate listings, the column titled "candidate support" includes contributions by the candidate as well as loans made or guaranteed by the candidate. The column titled "trans from other auth" includes moneys transferred from House committees of candidates for the Senate, as well as proceeds from joint fundraising activity among several candidates or committees. Contributions from individuals and PACs made through these joint fundraising efforts are NOT included in the "individual contributions" or "other cmte contributions" columns.

5. Open seat races are those in which the incumbent did not seek reelection.

6. Detailed listings of candidates include those House general election candidates who reported receipts before November 25, 2002.

7. Some House members or former House candidates who are or were running for the Senate in 2002 changed their former House campaign committees into their Senate campaign committees. Financial activity related solely to their Senate campaigns cannot be isolated. (See Chambliss [GA], Thune [SD], and Warren [NC]).

8. Party abbreviations in the listing of House campaigns are:

Democrat/Farmer/Labor (MN)
Right to Life
Peace and Freedom

9. Several candidates report significant debts at least some of which were incurred in previous election cycles. These include:


James Humphreys (WV)

Phil Sudan (TX)

Roger Kahn (GA)

Gordon Smith (OR)

Darrell Issa (CA)

Christopher Cannon (UT)

Doug Ose (CA)