The Commission has released its statistical summary of 18-month campaign activity for the 2015-2016 election cycle. This summary covers funds raised and spent in connection with federal elections between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.
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Presidential candidates raised $936.6 million and spent $857.9 million during the first 15 months of the 2015-2016 election cycle. The 103 presidential candidates who had filed campaign finance reports also disclosed combined totals of $16.3 million in debts and $82.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, 2016.
Candidates for the U.S. House and Senate running in the 2016 election cycle reported raising a combined $1.1 billion and spending $698.9 million between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. The 195 Senate candidates reported total receipts of $366.1 million, disbursements of $219.2 million, debts of $22.9 million and cash-on-hand of $255.4 million. Meanwhile, 1,361 House candidates reported total receipts of $725.9 million, disbursements of $479.6 million, debts of $68.1 million and cash-on-hand of $426.4 million. (Note that these figures include activity in connection with several special elections in 2015 and 2016.)
Political Party Committees
For the 2015-2016 election cycle through June 30, 2016, national, state and local political party committees reported combined total receipts of $839.8 million in federal funds, disbursements of $625.9 million, debts of $25.6 million, and cash-on-hand of $235.2 million. Individuals were the largest source of federal funds for party committees.
Legislation signed into law in December 2014 enabled national party committees to establish accounts to defray expenses incurred with respect to presidential nominating conventions, national party headquarters buildings and election recounts and contests. The resulting new accounts reported receiving a combined total of $86.7 million between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.
Political Action Committees (PACs)
Based on reports filed with the Commission for the 2015-16 election cycle through June 30, 2016, 8,169 federal PACs reported total receipts of $2.5 billion, disbursements of $2.2 billion, debts of $13.4 million and combined cash-on-hand of $787.1 million. Contributions by PACs to presidential and congressional candidates seeking office in the 2015-2016 election cycle totaled $2.4 million and $325.4 million, respectively, as of June 30, 2016.
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Independent expenditures reported to the Commission through June 30, 2016 in connection with presidential and congressional elections in the 2015-2016 election cycle totaled $434.2 million.
Independent expenditure-only political committees (Super PACs) accounted for $367.8 million of all independent expenditures disclosed to the Commission, while committees with non-contribution accounts (Hybrid PACs) reported spending $7.5 million, and other PACs reported spending $14.2 million. Independent expenditures made by persons other than political committees totaled $41.3 million, and party committees reported independent expenditures totaling $3.3 million.
Other Reportable Communications
Electioneering communications filings totaled $1.4 million in the 2015-2016 election cycle through June 30, 2016. An electioneering communication is a broadcast, cable or satellite communication that refers to a clearly identified candidate (but that does not contain express advocacy) and is distributed within 30 days prior to a primary election or within 60 days prior to a general election. See 52 U.S.C. § 30104(f) and 11 CFR 100.29 and 104.20.
Express advocacy communications by corporations and labor organizations to their "restricted classes,"(i.e., "Communications Costs") must be disclosed when the cost exceeds $2,000 per election. See 52 U.S.C. § 30101(9)(B)(iii) and 11 CFR 100.134 and 104.6. The Commission received 41 such filings disclosing spending of $8.7 million between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.
Data summary tables for reports submitted to the Commission through June 30, 2016 are listed below for:
- Presidential candidate committees;
- Congressional candidate committees;
- Political party committees;
- PACs; and
- Independent expenditures, electioneering communications and communications costs