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For Immediate Release
February 28, 2006
Contact: Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis
Kelly Huff


WASHINGTON – Congressional campaign fundraising totaled $470.3 million in 2005, an increase of 20.6% when compared to 2003, as reflected in year-end reports analyzed by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). 

Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives raised $280.1 million during 2005, an increase of 25.4% from 2003 levels.  These campaigns spent $147.4 million, 22% more than 2003.   They entered the election year with cash-on-hand of $282.7 million, up from the $221.4 million balance reported at the end of 2003.

Historical tables attached to this release show that House fundraising increases in 2005 were most pronounced for Democratic candidates, who raised $122 million, up 35% from 2003.  Democratic challengers and open seat candidates each raised nearly three times their 2003 totals, though the table shows that 2003 was an unusually weak fundraising year for Democratic non-incumbents in House races.  They have returned to fundraising levels seen in 2001 for open seats and 1999 for Democratic Challengers. 

Republican House candidates raised $157.1 million in 2005, 18% more than in the previous off-year.  Nearly all of that increase came from incumbent candidates, while Republican challengers raised slightly less, and Republican open seat candidates slightly more than they had in 2003.

Senate candidates raised a total of $190.2 million in 2005, up 14% from 2003 levels.  During 2005 Senate candidates reported disbursements of $69.8 million, up slightly from what was spent during the off year of the previous cycle, and they ended 2005 with a cash balance of $169 million.

Comparing Senate races between election cycles is problematic, however, because different states hold Senate elections each cycle.  In 2004 there were a number of competitive races in states with large populations, so Senate activity was relatively high in 2003.  Individual Senate campaigns can also be unusually large and effect overall totals, particularly early in the campaign year.  In 2005, for example, Hillary Clinton of NY raised $21.4 million, more than twice the total raised by the next largest campaign (Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at $10.2 million).

The following table compares non-election year activity (reported in millions of dollars) for all Senate and House campaigns during the last nine election cycles.




Cash on Hand









































             Contributions from individuals remain the largest source of funds for Congressional candidates.  The $296.7 million raised from individuals was 25% more than in 2003 and represented 63% of all funds raised during the year.  The limit in 2006 campaigns for contributions from individuals is $2,100 per election (or a total of $4,200 for a primary and general election). The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) increased contribution limits for individuals from $1,000 per election to $2,000 and indexed them for inflation. 

 Contributions from PACs and other candidate committees, whose limits were left largely unchanged under BCRA, rose 34% to $135.6 million.  This represented 29% of all receipts, up from 26% in 2003 but still less than 31% in 2001.  Funds from candidates themselves totaled $24.1 million or 5% of all fundraising.

This release contains summaries for 2006 cycle Congressional campaigns, comparisons over the past seven election cycles, a listing for each Senate candidate covering the full six-year cycle and each House candidate for 2005.  Also provided are top 50 lists for Senate and House campaigns for receipts, disbursements, cash-on-hand, debts, and the major sources of receipts.


  • Off Year Activity of 2006 Congressional Campaigns [excel]  [pdf]
  • Off Year Financial Activity of Senate Candidates ? 1994-2006 [excel]  [pdf]
  • Off Year Financial Activity of House Candidates ? 1994-2006 [excel]  [pdf]
  • Senate Top 50?s
    • 2005 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Receipts       [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2005 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Contributions from Individuals  [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2005 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Contributions from PACs and Other Committees  [excel]  [pdf]   
    • 2005 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Disbursements  [excel]  [pdf]       
    • 2005 Top 50 Senate Campaigns by Cash on Hand  [excel]  [pdf]        
    • 2005 Senate Campaign Debts  [excel]  [pdf]
  • Six Year Financial Summary for 2006 Senate Campaigns through December 31, 2005 [excel]  [pdf]
  • House Top 50?s       
    • 2005 Top 50 House Campaigns by Receipts  [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2005 Top 50 House Campaigns by Contributions from Individuals  [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2005 Top 50 House Campaigns by Contributions from PACs and Other Committees  [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2005 Top 50 House Campaigns by Disbursements  [excel]  [pdf]      
    • 2005 Top 50 House Campaigns by Cash on Hand  [excel]  [pdf]        
    • 2005 Top 50 House Campaigns by Debts Owed  [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2005 Top 50 House Challengers by Receipts [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2005 Top 50 House Open Seat Candidates by Receipts [excel]  [pdf]
    • 2005 House Campaigns by State and District   [excel]  [pdf]


  1. Figures in the first two tables and the detailed listings of candidates cover from January 1, 2005, or whenever the campaign registered during the year, through December 31, 2005.
  2. Net receipt and net disbursement figures are total receipts and total disbursements, as reported by the campaigns, minus any money transferred between committees of the same campaign.
  3. Columns entitled “Contrib from Other Cmte’s” are monies contributed to campaigns by PACs and other committees as reported by the campaigns.  Other committees include primarily committees of other candidates.
  4. 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 moneys transferred from House committees of 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.
  5. Open-seat races are those in which the incumbent did not seek reelection.
  6. Some House members who are or were running for the Senate in 2006 changed their former House campaign committees into their Senate campaign committees.  Financial activity related solely to their Senate campaigns cannot be isolated. (See Harris [FL], Menendez [NJ], Brown [OH], Ford [TN])
  7. Several candidates report significant debts, at least some of which were incurred in previous election cycles.  These include
  • Darrell Issa (CA)
  • Maria Cantwell (WA)
  • Doug Ose (CA)
  • Michael Sodrel (IN)
  • Christopher Chocola (IN)
  • Thomas Price (GA)

       8.    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