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For Immediate Release    Contact: Bob Biersack
March 6, 2008       George Smaragdis
    Michelle Ryan

 

Contributions to Party Committees Rise for Democrats and Decline for Republicans

Washington – The Federal Election Commission (FEC) announced today that receipts of the national, state and local committees of the Democratic party increased significantly in 2007-2008 when compared with earlier election cycles.  Contributions to Republican committees declined in the same period.  This is the first time since the FEC began compiling party contribution summaries in 1985 that Democratic party committees have raised more money than Republicans.  The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) requires national, state and some local party committees to file financial disclosure reports with the FEC. This release summarizes data contained in those reports.

National committees of the major parties are required to submit financial reports on a monthly basis. As a result, it is now possible to compare their activity over a 13-month period from January 1, 2007, through January 31, 2008. The three national committees of the Democratic party—the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) —reported raising a total of $191.3 million in the first 13 months of the 2008 election cycle. This represents an increase of 26% over a similar period in 2006, and 85% over the first 13 months of the 2004 election cycle. The three Republican national party committees—the Republican National Committee (RNC), the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) —reported raising $186.2 million during the same period.  This represents a decrease of 18% from 2006 and 2004 totals.

The DSCC and DCCC reported substantial gains, while total receipts declined slightly for the DNC.  The strongest growth came from the DCCC, whose $71.5 million in receipts through January 31, 2008, represented a 57% increase over 2006 levels.  This total was $18 million more than the NRCC raised during the same period.

All of the Republican party’s national committees reported revenue declines.  The RNC raised $97.5 million, down 18% from 2006.  The $35.4 million raised by the NRSC represented a decline of 11%, while the NRCC raised $53.3 million, down 22% from 2006.

Additional information for party committees at the state and local level is available through the end of 2007.*   Democratic party committees at all levels reported significant increases in receipts during 2007, while overall Republican party receipts declined from 2005.  

Democratic committees at the federal, state and local levels reported raising $211.3 million in federal funds during 2007—23% more than the $172.4 million they raised in 2005 (See Table 2, attached).

Republican committees at the federal, state and local levels raised $208.4 million in federal funds in 2007, down 16% from the $248.6 million these committees raised in 2005 (see Table 3). 

The following chart summarizes financial activity for all national parties in non-election years since 1999. Note that the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) eliminated all non-federal, or “soft money,” fundraising (such as contributions from corporations or unions or unlimited contributions from individuals) by national party committees.  All national party receipts now must comply with federal limits and prohibitions.  Such funds are often referred to as “hard money.”

1999

2001

2003

2005

2007

Non-Federal Receipts

Federal Receipts

Non-Federal Receipts

Federal Receipts

Federal Receipts

Federal Receipts

Federal Receipts

Democrats

$54.4

$55.4

$68.6

$59.7

$95.2

$142.6

$177.7

Republicans

$59.6

$95.3

$100.1

$133.9

$206.9

$205.9

$167.1

Millions of dollars

State and local party fundraising is not included in this table.

Tables attached to this release provide details of financial activity in non-election years since 1991.

Individuals are by far the largest source of federal funds for party committees.  Republican committees reported receiving $176.7 million from individuals (85% of their receipts) in 2007, while Democrats received $161.2 million (76% of their total).

BCRA changed contribution limits, increasing the limit for individuals giving to national parties to $25,000, adjusted for inflation.  The inflation-adjusted limit for the 2007-2008 election cycle is $28,500. Table 4 breaks down those contributions by size in recent non-election years.  The table shows that all national committees, except the DSCC, continue to receive more dollars from donations in amounts less than $200 than from contributions in any other category.

Political Action Committees (PACs) and other committees contributed $22 million to Republican party committees and $36.2 million to Democratic party committees in 2007-2008.  Much of this total comes from House Democrats who contributed $17.7 million from their campaign accounts to the DCCC during 2007 (and $18.4 million through January 2008).  Table 5 provides a list of Members and their contributions to the DCCC. House Republicans contributed $10 million to the NRCC in 2007 and $10.6 million through January 2008.  These contributions are detailed in Table 6.

* State and local party committees are permitted to file reports on a quarterly basis, so the most current information for them covers only calendar 2007.

 

Table 1 National Party Financial Activity Through January 31, 2008 [excel] [pdf]

Table 2 Democratic Party Committee Financial Activity Through December 31, 2007 [excel] [pdf]

Table 3 Republican Party Committee Financial Activity Through December 31, 2007 [excel] [pdf]

Table 4 Contributions from Individuals to National Party Committees by Contribution Amount [excel] [pdf]

Table 5 Member Contributions to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee [excel] [pdf]

Table 6 Member Contributions to the National Republican Congressional Committee [excel] [pdf]

 

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, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency.

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