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  • Press Release

Congressional Campaigns Raise $507 Million in 2007

April 7, 2008


For Immediate Release


Bob Biersack

April 7, 2008

George Smaragdis

Michelle Ryan


Congressional Campaigns Raise $507 Million in 2007

WASHINGTON – Congressional campaign receipts totaled $507.3 million in 2007, an increase of eight percent when compared to 2005, according to year-end reports summarized by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). 

Senate candidates raised $164.5 million in 2007, down 14 percent from 2005 levels.  During 2007, Senate candidates reported expenditures of $57.9 million, down from $69.8 million spent during 2005, ending 2007 with a cash balance of $144.3 million.

Comparing Senate races between election cycles is problematic because states hold Senate elections in different years.  Many states holding Senate elections in 2008 have smaller populations that often result in lower campaign contributions.  Six years ago when these same Senate seats were up for election, candidates raised $93.8 million during the year before the election year.

Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives raised $342.8 million during 2007, an increase of 22 percent from 2005 levels.  These campaigns spent $186 million, 26 percent more than 2005.   They entered the election year with cash-on-hand of $296.6 million, up from the $282.7 million reported at the end of 2005.

Historical tables attached to this release show that increased receipts for House campaigns in 2007 were limited to Democratic candidates, who raised $200.1 million, up 64 percent from 2005.  All three categories of Democratic House campaigns: incumbents, challengers, and open seat candidates, increased their fundraising in 2007.  Republican House candidates raised $142.6 million in 2007, nine percent less than in 2005.  Much of this decline came from incumbent candidates, while Republican challengers raised significantly more and Republican open seat candidates slightly less than in 2005.

The following chart compares non-election year financial activity (reported in millions of dollars) for all Senate and House campaigns during the last seven election cycles: 1995 – 2007. These figures have not been adjusted for inflation.

chart of Senate and House campaign receipts since 1996


Individual contributions remain the largest source of Congressional campaign revenues.  The $278.9 million contributed by individuals in 2007 was six percent less than in 2005 and represented 55 percent of all fundraising during the year, down from 63 percent in 2005.  The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) increased campaign contribution limits for individuals from $1,000 per election to $2,000 and indexed them for inflation.  The limit for individual contributions in 2008 campaigns is $2,300 per election, or a total of $4,600 for a primary and general election.

Although contribution limits to political action committees (PACs) and other candidate committees were left largely unchanged under BCRA, contributions to these entities increased by 16 percent to $157.4 million in 2007. This represented 31 percent of all contributions, up from 29 percent in 2005.  Campaign contributions by candidates themselves totaled $28.1 million or six percent of all funds raised.

The attached tables display receipts of Congressional campaigns in the 2008 cycle and include comparisons for the past seven election cycles.  Also provided are financial totals for specific Senate candidates from 2003 to 2007 and House candidates for 2007. 

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency.

# # #

  Receipts include contributions, transfers from other committees, loans, refunds from vendors, interest income and other revenue.


  • Off Year Activity of 2008 Congressional Campaigns [excel]  [pdf]
  • Off Year Financial Activity of Senate Candidates 1996-2008 [excel]  [pdf]
  • Off Year Financial Activity of House Candidates ? 1996-2008 [excel]  [pdf]
  • Senate Top 50?s
    • 2007 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Receipts       [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2007 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Contributions from Individuals  [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2007 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Contributions from PACs and Other Committees  [excel]  [pdf]   
    • 2007 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Disbursements  [excel]  [pdf]       
    • 2007 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Cash on Hand  [excel]  [pdf]        
    • 2007 Senate Campaign Debts  [excel]  [pdf]
  • Six Year Financial Summary for 2006 Senate Campaigns through December 31, 2005 [excel]  [pdf]
  • House Top 50?s       
    • 2007 Top 50 House Campaigns by Receipts  [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2007 Top 50 House Campaigns by Contributions from Individuals  [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2007 Top 50 House Campaigns by Contributions from PACs and Other Committees  [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2007 Top 50 House Campaigns by Disbursements  [excel]  [pdf]      
    • 2007 Top 50 House Campaigns by Cash on Hand  [excel]  [pdf]        
    • 2007 Top 50 House Campaigns by Debts Owed  [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2007 Top 50 House Challengers by Receipts [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2007 Top 50 House Open Seat Candidates by Receipts [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2007 House Campaigns by State and District   [excel]  [pdf]

Table Footnotes

  1. Figures in the first two tables and the detailed listings of candidates reflect the period January 1, 2007 (or whenever the campaign registered during the year) through December 31, 2007.
  • Columns entitled “Other Cmte Contributions” are monies contributed to campaigns by PACs and other committees as reported by the campaigns.  Other committees include primarily committees of other candidates.
  • 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 monies 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.
  • Open-seat races are those in which the incumbent did not seek reelection.
  • Some House members who are or were running for the Senate in 2008 transformed their former House campaign committees into their Senate campaign committees.  Financial activity related solely to their Senate campaigns cannot be isolated. (See Udall [CO], Wilson [NM], Udall [NM], Allen [ME])
  • Several candidates report significant debts, at least some of which were incurred in previous election cycles.
  • Party abbreviations in the listing of House campaigns are:

DEM - Democrat                                      LIB - Libertarian

DFL - Democrat/Farmer/Labor (MN)   PAF - Peace and Freedom

REP - Republican                                    IND - Independent

RTL - Right to Life                                  LBL - Liberal