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FEC Record: Statistics

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FEC Summarizes First 18 Months of Campaign Activity
for the 2012 Election Cycle

Federal candidates, parties and political action committees (PACs) collected more than $4 billion and spent more than $2.9 billion between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. Independent expenditures and electioneering communication spending totaled $170.4 million during the 18-month period.  

Presidential candidates reported raising $601.9 million and spending $407.9 million from January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. These candidates’ combined cash-on-hand was $132.9 million and their debts totaled $15.1 million as of June 30, 2012.

 The receipt totals for presidential candidates includes matching funds received for primary election contributions. As of June 30, 2012, the Commission certified payments for primary matching funds to t presidential campaigns, $351,961.10 to one and $230,058.91 to another, for a total of $582,020.01. The presidential nominee of each major party may become eligible to receive a public grant of $91,241,400 for the general election campaign. As of the close of this 18-month period, no candidates had received general election grant money.

Congressional Candidates

The 1,848 candidates running for House and Senate seats in the 2012 election cycle reported raising a total of $1.2 billion and spending $786.8 million between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. House and Senate candidates reported combined debts totaling $113.5 million and a cumulative cash-on-hand of $602.3 million during the same period. 

The 242 candidates running in the 33 2012 Senate races reported total receipts of $441.5 million, spending of $278.2 million, debts of $37.5 million and cash-on-hand totaling $205.5 million, during the 18-month period. Campaign committees of the 1,606 House candidates reported total receipts of $769 million, disbursements of $508.6 million, debts of $75.9 million and a combined cash-on-hand of $396.7 million.

Political Party Committees

National, state and local political party committees reported $960.1 million in federal receipts, $626.3 million in disbursements, debts of $19.4 million, and a combined cash-on-hand of $289.2 million for the cycle as of June 30, 2012. Of those totals, other party committees* reported receipts of $3.9 million, disbursements of $3.8 million, debts of approximately $168,000, and a combined cash-on-hand of approximately $490,000 during the same 18-month period.

Political Action Committees (PACs)

As of June 30, 2012, 5,991 federal PACs reported total receipts of $1.3 billion, disbursements of more than $1 billion, debts of $8.8 million and a combined cash-on-hand of $575.3 million.

Contributions by PACs to federal candidates seeking office in 2011 and 2012 totaled $292.4 million as of June 30, 2012. PAC contributions to Senate, House and presidential candidates totaled $55.9 million, $235.2 million and $1.3 million, respectively. Independent expenditure-only committees are prohibited from making contributions to candidates.

Independent Expenditures

From January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, independent expenditures reported to the Commission totaled $161.1 million. Independent Expenditure-Only Committees accounted for $128.2 million of all independent expenditure filings the FEC received, while Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts accounted for $8 million. Independent expenditures made by persons other than political committees totaled $9.9 million. Independent expenditures by other PACs and party committees totaled $9.6 million and $5.5 million, respectively.

Independent expenditures reported to the Commission in connection with the 2012 presidential election totaled approximately $115.6 million as of June 30, 2012, with approximately $98.9 million reported by independent expenditure-only committees, $7.6 million reported by committees with non-contribution accounts and $4 million reported by other PACs.

 Independent expenditures advocating the election of presidential candidates totaled $41.2 million, while $74.4 million was spent to oppose presidential candidates. Independent expenditures reported in connection with congressional races totaled $45.5 million. Independent expenditure-only committees and party committees were the two largest sources of these expenditures, reporting $5.6 million and $5.4 million, respectively. 

Independent expenditure-only committees reported total receipts of $305.4 million, disbursements of $200.4 million, $2.6 million in debt, and a combined cash-on-hand of $108.9 million.

Electioneering Communications

Filers reported $9.3 million in electioneering communications as of June 30, 2012. An electioneering communication is a broadcast, cable or satellite communication that refers to a clearly identified federal candidate and is distributed within 30 days prior to a primary election or 60 days prior to a general election. These communications do not expressly advocate the election or defeat of a federal candidate.

Data summary tables for reports submitted to the Commission through June 30, 2012 are listed below for:

  • Presidential candidate committees link;
  • Historical presidential candidateslink;
  • Congressional candidate committeeslink;
  • PACslink;
  • PAC summary datalink;
  • Independent expenditureslink;
  • Political party committeeslink; and
  • Electioneering communicationslink.

(Posted 10/31/12; By Alex Knott)

Resources:


* Other party committees include the Libertarian National Committee, Libertarian National Congressional Committee, Green Party of the United States, Green Senatorial Campaign Committee, Constitution Party National Committee, and the Reform Party of the United States of America.

 

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The FEC Record is produced by the Information Division, Office of Communications. Toll free 800-424-9530; Local 202-694-1100; E-mail info@fec.gov. Greg Scott, Director; Alex Knott, Senior Writer/Editor; Myles Martin, Editor