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  • FEC Record: Statistics

FEC summarizes campaign activity of the 2011-2012 election cycle

April 26, 2013

Federal candidates, parties and political action committees (PACs) raised and spent more than $7 billion during 2011 and 2012, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. This sum includes part of the nearly $1.3 billion spent on independent expenditures and electioneering communications.

Presidential candidates reported raising and spending nearly $1.4 billion during 2011-2012. That figure includes primary matching payments to three eligible candidates totaling over $1.3 million. As of December 31, 2012, presidential campaigns reported a total of $13.8 million in debt and a combined cash-on-hand of $5.5 million.

The 1,949 candidates running for House and Senate reported raising and spending nearly $1.9 billion during the 2012 election cycle. At year’s end, they reported a combined cash-on-hand of $211.1 million and total debts of $107.2 million.

National, state and local political party committees raised and spent roughly $1.6 billion during the 2012 cycle. As of December 31, 2012, their debts totaled $78.9 million and their cash-on-hand came to $36.9 million.

During 2011-2012, 7,311 federal PACs reported total receipts of nearly $2.3 billion, disbursements of nearly $2.2 billion, debts of $24.4 million, and a combined cash-on-hand of $409.4 million. Contributions from these PACs to federal candidates totaled $423.1 million as of December 31, 2012, with Senate candidates receiving $80.1 million, House candidates $341.2 million and presidential candidates $1.8 million.

In 2011-2012, independent expenditure filings reported to the Commission totaled more than $1.25 billion. Of that amount, $583.8 million was spent in connection with the presidential election and $666.7 million was spent on House and Senate races. Independent Expenditure-Only Committees – commonly known as Super PACs – accounted for $606.8 million of those disbursements. Persons other than political committees disclosed another $300.4 million and party committees spent $252.4 million. Independent expenditures by PACs totaled $78 million and committees with non-contribution accounts reported $12.9 million.

Filers reported $15.1 million in electioneering communications during 2011 and 2012.

Data summary tables for reports submitted to the Commission through December 31, 2012 are listed in the press release for:

  • Presidential candidate committees;
  • Historical presidential candidates;
  • Congressional candidate committees;
  • PACs;
  • Independent expenditures;
  • Political party committees; and
  • Electioneering communications.


  • Author 
    • Alex Knott