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  • Press Release

U.S. House and Senate Campaigns Raise Nearly $600 Million in 2009

March 22, 2010


For Immediate Release


Judith Ingram

March 22, 2010

Julia Queen
  Christian Hilland

U.S. House and Senate Campaigns Raise Nearly $600 Million in 2009

WASHINGTON – Congressional campaign receipts totaled $597.5 million from January 1 through December 31, 2009, the first calendar year of the 2009-2010 election cycle.  This reflects an increase of almost 18% over 2007 (the first calendar year of the 2007-2008 election cycle), according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).Congressional Democratic, Republican, and other party candidates increased their fundraising totals by raising $321.3 million, $275.9 million, and $384,000, respectively, when compared to the same one-year period in the previous election cycle.

Senate candidates raised $236.3 million in 2009, an increase of 43.7% from 2007.During 2009, Senate candidates reported expenditures of $102.6 million, up from $57.9 million spent during 2007, and ended 2009 with a cash balance of $203.6 million. Six years ago, when the same Senate seats were up for election, candidates raised $166.7 million during the year before the mid-term elections. However, there are two additional open seats this election cycle due to the vacancies created by the Senate resignations of Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In addition, a Senate vacancy occurred in Massachusetts after Senator Edward Kennedy’s death.

Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives raised $361.2 million in 2009, an increase of over 5% compared to 2007 levels.These campaigns spent $195.9 million, more than 5% over total expenditures in 2007.They entered the election year with cash-on-hand of $326.2 million, up 10% from the $296.6 million reported at the end of 2007.

Historical tables attached to this release show that receipts for House Democratic campaigns were $199.9 million in 2009, a decrease of less than 1% from their 2007 total.While Democratic House incumbents increased their fundraising total compared to 2007, Democratic House challengers and open seat candidates reported a decrease in the amount of contributions received compared to 2007.Republican House candidates raised $161 million in 2009, a 12.9% increase from 2007.Unlike Democratic House candidates, Republican House challengers and open seat candidates reported an increase in contributions in 2009, while incumbents reported a decrease in contributions compared to 2007.

The following chart compares non-election year financial activity (reported in millions of dollars) for all Senate and House campaigns during the last seven election cycles. These figures have not been adjusted for inflation.


Individual contributions remain the largest source of Congressional campaign revenues.The $363.9 million contributed by individuals in 2009 was almost 31% more than in 2007 and represented 61% of all fundraising during the year, up from 55% in 2007.The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) increased campaign contribution limits for individuals from $1,000 per election to $2,000 and indexed them for inflation.The limit for individual contributions in 2009-2010 is $2,400 per election, or a total of $4,800 for a primary and general election.

Although contribution limits to Congressional campaigns from political action committees (PACs) and other candidate committees were left largely unchanged under BCRA, contributions from these entities increased by 1.5% to $159.8 million in 2009.Contributions and loans made by candidates to their own campaigns totaled $51.5 million or 8.6% of all funds raised, an increase of $23.4 million from 2007.

The attached tables display receipts of Congressional campaigns in the 2010 cycle and include comparisons for the past eight election cycles.Also provided are financial totals for specific Senate candidates from 2003 to 2009 and House candidates for 2009.

Please note that receipts include contributions, transfers from other committees, loans, refunds from vendors, interest income and other revenue.


  • Off-Year Activity of 2010 Congressional Campaigns [excel] [pdf]
  • Off-Year Financial Activity of Senate Candidates 1996-2010 [excel] [pdf]
  • Off-Year Financial Activity of House Candidates 1996-2010 [excel] [pdf]
  • Senate Top 50
    • 2009 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Receipts [excel] [pdf]
    • 2009 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Contributions from Individuals [excel] [pdf]
    • 2009 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Contributions from PACs and Other Committees [excel] [pdf]
    • 2009 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Disbursements [excel] [pdf]
    • 2009 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Cash on Hand [excel] [pdf]
    • 2009 Senate Campaign Debts [excel] [pdf]
  • Six Year Financial Summary for 2006 Senate Campaigns through December 31, 2009 [excel] [pdf]
  • House Top 50
    • 2009 Top 50 House Campaigns by Receipts [excel] [pdf]
    • 2009 Top 50 House Campaigns by Contributions from Individuals [excel] [pdf]
    • 2009 Top 50 House Campaigns by Contributions from PACs and Other Committees [excel] [pdf]
    • 2009 Top 50 House Campaigns by Disbursements [excel] [pdf]
    • 2009 Top 50 House Campaigns by Cash on Hand [excel] [pdf]
    • 2009 Top 50 House Campaigns by Debts Owed [excel] [pdf]
    • 2009 Top 50 House Challengers by Receipts [excel] [pdf]
    • 2009 Top 50 House Candidates by Contributions / Loans [excel] [pdf]
    • 2009 Top 50 House Open Seat Candidates by Receipts [excel] [pdf]
    • 2009 House Campaigns by State and District [excel] [pdf]

Table Footnotes

  1. Figures in the first two tables and the detailed listings of candidates reflect the period January 1, 2009 (or whenever the campaign registered during the year) through December 31, 2009.
  • Columns entitled “Other Cmte Contributions” are monies contributed to campaigns by PACs and other committees as reported by the campaigns. Other committees include primarily committees of other candidates.
  • On the Senate listings, the column titled “Candidate Support” includes contributions by the candidate as well as loans made or guaranteed by the candidate.The column titled “Trans from Other Auth.” includes monies transferred from House campaign committees of House members who are also candidates for the Senate, as well as proceeds from joint fundraising activity among several candidates or committees.Contributions from individuals and PACs made through these joint fundraising efforts are NOT included in the “Individual Contributions” or “Other Cmte Contributions” columns.
  • Open-seat races are those in which the incumbent did not seek reelection.
  • Some House members who are or were running for the Senate in 2010 transformed their former House campaign committees into their Senate campaign committees. Financial activity related solely to their Senate campaigns cannot be isolated.
  • Several candidates report debts, at least some of which were incurred in previous election cycles.
  • Party abbreviations in the listing of House campaigns are:

DEM - Democrat LIB - Libertarian

DFL - Democrat/Farmer/Labor (MN) PAF - Peace and Freedom

REP - Republican IND - Independent

RTL - Right to Life LBL - Liberal




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 of Representatives, 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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