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  • Press Release

FEC Approves Matching Funds for 2008 Presidential Candidates

January 23, 2009


For Immediate Release


Judith Ingram

Jan. 23, 2009

Mary Brandenberger



FEC Approves Matching Funds for 2008 Presidential Candidates

WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission (FEC/the Commission) has certified that three Presidential candidates are eligible to receive a total of $202,017.09 in federal matching funds for their 2008 primary campaigns.  Certifications approved by the FEC on Jan. 13 include $2,275 to Joseph Biden, $83,775.35 to Tom Tancredo and $115,966.74 to Mike Gravel. This brings the total matching fund payments in the 2008 campaign to $21,728,501.15. 

Candidates who participated in the program in 2004 received a total of $28.4 million in matching funds.  During the 2000 campaign the total was $62.3 million and in 1996 primary campaigns received a total of $58.5 million in matching funds.

The following chart is a breakdown of the amounts paid to each participating candidate in 2008.



Total Matching Funds

Joseph R. Biden (D)


Christopher J. Dodd (D)


John Edwards (D)


Mike Gravel (D)


Duncan Hunter (R)


Dennis Kucinich (D)


Ralph Nader (I)


Tom Tancredo (R)



To become eligible for matching funds, candidates must raise a threshold amount of $100,000 by collecting $5,000 in 20 different states in amounts no greater than $250 from any individual. Other requirements to be declared eligible include agreeing to an overall spending limit of $50,460,000, abiding by spending limits in each state, using public funds only for legitimate campaign-related expenses, keeping financial records and permitting a campaign audit.

The federal government matches up to $250 of an individual''''s total contributions to an eligible candidate.  Following the primary season, candidates may be entitled to receive additional matching funds to assist in winding down their campaigns or to retire debts. The maximum amount a candidate could receive in 2008 is $21,025,000.

The Presidential public funding program is financed through the $3 check-off that appears on individual income tax returns.The program provides for distribution of funds for three separate purposes: (1) matching payments to participating candidates during the primary campaign; (2) grants to parties to help fund their nominating conventions ($16,820,760 to each major party in 2008); and (3) grants available to nominees to pay for the general election campaign ($84,103,800 in 2008 to each major party nominee who chooses to participate by agreeing not to accept private contributions for the general election).


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. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

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