News Releases, Media Advisories

FEC Seal Linking to FEC.GOV

For Immediate Release
May 31, 2001

Contact:

Ian Stirton
Ron Harris
Sharon Snyder
Kelly Huff

 

PAC ACTIVITY INCREASES IN 2000 ELECTION CYCLE

WASHINGTON - Financial activity by political action committees (PACs) increased substantially during the 1999-2000 election cycle when compared to the 1997-98 cycle, according to figures compiled by the Federal Election Commission. From January 1, 1999, through December 31, 2000, PACs raised $604.9 million, up 20% over 1997-98, and spent $579.4 million, an increase of 23%. Cash on hand as of December 31, 2000, for the 4,499 PACs totalled $153.6 million.

PAC contributions to federal candidates for the 1999-2000 cycle totalled $259.8 million, up 17% from 1997-98. Most of the money - $247.9 million - was given to candidates seeking election in 2000. The remaining $11.9 million went to candidates running for office in future years, or to debt retirement for candidates in past cycles. The following table summarizes PAC contributions from 1977 through 2000: 

PAC CONTRIBUTIONS

99-2000

97-98

95-96

93-94

91-92

89-90

87-88

85-86

83-84

81-82

79-80

77-78

All Federal Candidates

$259.8

$219.9

$217.8

$189.6

$188.9

$159.1

$159.2

$139.8

$113.0

$87.6

$60.2

$35.2

Current Candidates

$247.9

$206.8

$203.9

$179.6

$179.4

$149.7

$151.1

$132.7

$105.3

$83.6

$55.2

$34.1

Senate

$51.9

$48.1

$45.6

$47.2

$51.2

$41.2

$45.7

$45.3

$29.7

$22.5

$17.3

$9.7

House

$193.4

$158.7

$155.8

$132.4

$127.4

$108.5

$102.2

$87.4

$75.7

$61.1

$37.9

$24.4

Incumbents continued to receive most of the PAC contributions as they have in previous elections. The following table shows the distribution of contributions according to incumbents, challengers, and open seat races over eight election cycles.  

1999-2000

1997-98

1995-96

1993-94

1991-92

1989-90

1987-88

1985-86

Incumbents

$195.4

75%

$170.9

78%

$146.4

67%

$137.2

72%

$135.3

72%

$125.8

79%

$118.2

74%

$96.2

69%

Challengers

$27.5

11%

$22.1

10%

$31.6

15%

$19.0

10%

$22.9

12%

$16.2

10%

$18.9

12%

$19.9

14%

Open Seats

$36.9

14%

$27.0

12%

$39.8

18%

$33.4

18%

$30.7

16%

$17.1

11%

$22.2

14%

$23.8

17%

House candidates received $195.9 million from PACs, up 21% from the previous cycle while Senate candidates received $61.3 million, an increase of 6%. Republican congressional candidates received $136.2 million, an increase of 17% from the previous cycle, while Democrats received $123.1 million, up 19%. The following chart provides

PAC contributions and percentages by political party over several election cycles (in millions of dollars).

1999-2000

1997-98

1995-96

1993-94

1991-92

1989-90

1987-88

SENATE
DEMOCRAT

$23.9

39%

$20.7

43%

$16.6

36%

$23.9

51%

$29.0

57%

$20.2

49%

$24.2

53%

REPUBLICAN

$37.4

61%

$27.3

57%

$29.0

64%

$23.2

49%

$22.2

43%

$21.0

51%

$21.5

47%

HOUSE
DEMOCRAT

$99.2

51%

$77.6

49%

$77.3

50%

$88.2

67%

$85.4

67%

$72.2

67%

$67.4

66%

REPUBLICAN

$96.2

49%

$80.7

51%

$77.7

50%

$43.9

33%

$41.7

33%

$36.2

33%

$34.7

34%

In addition to the $259.8 million in contributions, PACs made $21 million in independent expenditures for and against candidates. Of this, $16.5 million was spent on behalf of various candidates and $4.5 million was spent against them.

The following pages provide data on PAC financial activity for the 1999-2000 election cycle and comparable summary statistics for several previous election cycles. Other tables show the distribution of PACs by total amount spent and total contributed to candidates. Rankings of the "Top 50" PACs in various categories, such as money raised and spent are also included.

This release and accompanying statistics can be found on FEC’s webpage at www.fec.gov under News Releases or Campaign Finance Reports and Data.


Links to Tables in Both HTML and EXCEL (requires Microsoft Excel) formats:

Summary of PAC Financial Activity for 19992000 (HTML, EXCEL)

PAC Contributions to Congressional Campaigns by Office, Party, and Candidate Status 19992000 (HTML, EXCEL)

Historical Overview of PAC Financial Activity (HTML, EXCEL)

Independent Expenditures by PACs During 19992000 (HTML, EXCEL)

Historical Overview of PAC Contributions to Congressional Candidates 1994 – 2000 Election Cycles (HTML, EXCEL)

PAC Contributions to House Campaigns by Candidate Status 1986 – 2000 (HTML, EXCEL)

PACs Grouped by Total Spending (HTML, EXCEL)

PACs Grouped by Total Contributed to Candidates (HTML, EXCEL)

Top 50 PACs by Receipts (HTML, EXCEL)

Top 50 PACs by Disbursements (HTML, EXCEL)

Top 50 PACs by Contributions to Candidates (HTML, EXCEL)

Top 50 PACs by Ending Cash on Hand (HTML, EXCEL)

50 PACs with the Largest Dollar Growth in Contributions 1998 – 2000 (HTML, EXCEL)

50 PACs with the Largest Dollar Decline in Contributions 1998 – 2000 (HTML, EXCEL)

50 PACs with the Largest Dollar Growth in Receipts 1998 – 2000 (HTML, EXCEL)

50 PACs with the Largest Dollar Decline in Receipts 1998 – 2000 (HTML, EXCEL)

# # #