skip navigation
Here's how you know US flag signifying that this is a United States Federal Government website

An official website of the United States government

Here's how you know

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

  • Press Release

FEC Releases 18-Month Report on Political Party Activity

September 9, 1998


News Releases, Media Advisories

For Immediate Release: Contact: Ian Stirton September 9, 1998 Ron Harris Sharon Snyder Kelly Huff



WASHINGTON - The Republican Party continues to maintain a comfortable fundraising advantage over Democrats, according to figures compiled by the Federal Election Commission. Disclosure reports covering financial activity from January 1, 1997, through June 30, 1998, show that the federal accounts of Republican party committees raised $193.3 million, spent $177.5 million, and had cash on hand of $17.3 million. Democratic national party committees’ federal accounts reported raising $107.7 million and spending $100.4 million, and had cash on hand of $10.3 million. Debts totaled $4.2 million for Republicans and $9.9 million for Democrats.

The Republican Party totals reflect a 21% decrease in receipts and a 17% decrease in spending when compared with the same period in 1995-96. The Democratic Party totals show a 26% decrease in receipts and a 22% decrease in spending when compared to the previous cycle. 1996 was a presidential cycle and political party financial activity is usually greater during presidential campaigns. When compared to 1993-94, the last non-presidential cycle, Republican receipts were up 19% while disbursements were up 30%. Democratic receipts were up 30% while disbursements were up 36%.

Republican state and local party committees reported federal receipts of $52.9 million and spending of $40.3 million. Democratic state and local party committees reported federal receipts of $27.7 million, with spending of $22.5 million.

Republican party committees contributed $1.4 million to federal candidates and spent $414,562 in coordinated expenditures on behalf of candidates for the first 18 months of the 1997-98 cycle. Democratic party committees contributed $1.3 million directly to federal candidates and spent $3.6 million in coordinated expenditures during the same period. Coordinated expenditures are made in addition to direct contributions. They are allowed only with regard to the general election, and do not count as either contributions to candidates or as expenditures made by candidates.

Republican nonfederal, or "soft money"* accounts collected $71.8 million, a 9% decrease over the same period in the previous cycle, but up 255% when compared to the 1993-94 cycle. Democratic nonfederal accounts reported raising $53 million, a 24% decrease over the same period in the 1995-96 cycle, but 70% more than in the 1993-94 cycle. Republicans spent $60.4 million from their soft money accounts while Democrats spent almost $49 million.

Charts attached to this release provide summary data for the financial activities of the Republican and Democratic party committees during the first 18 months of the 1997-98 election cycle compared to the same period in five previous election cycles. Comparable data on nonfederal national party activity is available only as far back as the 1991-92 cycle. The FEC began requiring national party committees to disclose their nonfederal accounts in January 1991.


*"Soft money" describes funds raised outside the limitations and prohibitions of the Federal Election Campaign Act. Soft money must be deposited in nonfederal accounts and cannot be used in connection with federal elections. To enhance public disclosure, the FEC requires national political party committees to report the sources of receipts to all nonfederal accounts.


Federal Activity of Democratic Party Committees

Federal Activity of Republican Party Committees

Nonfederal Activity of Democratic National Committees

Nonfederal Activity of Republican National Committees

Nonfederal Activity 1992-1998