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  • FEC Record: Statistics

Party support for candidates increases in 2008 election cycle

July 1, 2009

The Democratic and Republican parties raised nearly $1.6 billion and spent more than $1.5 billion between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2008, according to a Commission compilation of information from reports submitted by federally registered party committees at the national, state and local levels.

Republican national, state and local party committees that report to the FEC raised $792.9 million during 2007-2008 in federally permissible funds, or "hard money." Democratic party committees raised $763.3 million during the same period. Democratic party receipts for the 2008 election cycle represent a 58 percent increase over the 2006 cycle and a 10.8 percent increase over the 2004 Presidential election cycle. Republican party receipts grew 32.4 percent from 2006, and 1.3 percent from 2004. The limits on contributions from individuals to national party committees are indexed for inflation. For the 2008 cycle, individuals could contribute as much as $28,500 to a national party committee, while political action committees (PACs) could contribute up to $15,000. No direct contributions from corporations or labor organizations are permitted.

The following charts show fundraising in the 2004, 2006 and 2008 election cycles for the Democratic national committees (the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC)) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Republican national committees (the Republican National Committee (RNC), the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)).

The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) prohibited national party committees from raising or spending money outside the limits and prohibitions of federal election law, making the 2002 election cycle the last cycle during which national party committees could raise and spend nonfederal funds or "soft money." Despite these restrictions, the parties' national committee fundraising totals for 2008 overshadowed their 2002 and 2000 campaign cycle totals by $249 million and $149.8 million, respectively.

For more information, see the Commission's press release at

Party Support-- 2008 Presidential Election