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Issue Date: April 3, 2015    
PDF .pdf version of this news release    

 

Statistical Summary of 24-Month Campaign Activity of the 2013-2014 Election Cycle

Congressional candidates running in the 2013-2014 election cycle raised $1.7 billion and spent $1.6 billion in the 24-month period, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission that cover activity from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014. During this period, political parties received $1.2 billion and disbursed $1.2 billion, and political action committees (PACs) received $2.4 billion and disbursed $2.3 billion. Filings submitted to the Commission in this 24-month period indicated that disbursements for independent expenditures and electioneering communications totaled $787.8 million and $7.3 million respectively, in connection with congressional elections.

Activity from Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2014
(figures in millions)

Filers
Receipts
Disbursements
2014 Congressional Candidates
$1,669.4
$1,615.0
Party Committees
$1,227.7
$1,192.3
PACs
$2,368.6
$2,304.8
   
Communications Filings
   Total
Independent Expenditures
  $787.8
Electioneering Communications
     $7.3

This summary of campaign activity in the 2013-2014 election cycle provides a benchmark for comparison with previous cycles. Supporting data tables are linked at the end of each summary section below.

I. Congressional Candidates

United States House and Senate candidates running in the 2014 election cycle reported raising a total of $1.7 billion and spending $1.6 billion between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014. Candidates for the two chambers reported combined total debts of $95.2 million and combined total cash-on-hand of $243.3 million as of December 31, 2014.

The following table summarizes campaign finance activity of House and Senate candidates for the 24 months of each two-year election cycle since the 2001-2002 cycle.

24-Month Financial Activity of Congressional Candidates*
(monetary figures in millions)

Year
No. of Cand.
Receipts
Disbursements
Debts Owed
Cash on Hand
2014
1,678
$1,669.4
$1,615.0
   $95.2
$243.3
2012
1,949
$1,878.8
$1,847.2
 $107.2
$211.1
2010
2,198
$1,860.4
$1,833.6
 $114.9
$233.2
2008
1,544
$1,417.0
$1,383.9
   $87.7
$222.6
2006
1,482
$1,444.2
$1,422.9
   $85.6
$218.2
2004
1,406
$1,205.7
$1,157.4
   $88.6
$220.6
2002
1,384
   $979.3
   $951.1
 $117.7
$157.1

*Includes activity from January 1 of the pre-election year through December 31 of the election year. Contribution limits are indexed for inflation every cycle. The totals in the 2014 row may differ slightly from the sum of the numbers in the two subsequent paragraphs as the numbers have been rounded. The number of candidates reflects the number of candidate committees that filed reports with financial activity in a given election cycle.

The 233 candidates running for Senate in 2014, including the 2014 special election for Oklahoma’s Senate seat, as well as in the 2013 special elections for United States Senate seats in Massachusetts and New Jersey, reported total receipts of $635.4 million, disbursements of $654.2 million, debts of $23.3 million and cash-on-hand of $33.1 million.

The 1,445 candidates running for the House of Representatives in 2013-2014 reported combined total receipts of $1 billion, disbursements of $960.8 million, debts of $71.9 million and cash-on-hand of $210.2 million. These numbers encompass financial activity associated with the 2013 special elections for Alabama’s 1st Congressional District, Illinois’s 2nd Congressional District, Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District, Massachusetts’s 5th Congressional District, Missouri’s 8th Congressional District and South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District and with the 2014 special elections for Florida’s 13th and 19th Congressional Districts, New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District, North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District and Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.

Data summary tables for reports submitted to the Commission through December 31, 2014 by 2013 and 2014 congressional candidate committees can be found here.

II. Political Party Committees

National, state and local political party committees reported combined total receipts of $1.2 billion in federal funds, disbursements of $1.2 billion, debts of $64 million, and cash-on-hand of $38 million as of December 31, 2014. Of those totals, party committees other than the two major political parties reported receipts of $4.8 million, disbursements of $4.9 million, debts of $114,020, and a combined cash-on-hand of $587,218 as of December 31, 2014. See the footnote in the following table for the names of these other party committees.

The following table summarizes 2013-2014 campaign finance activity of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), Republican National Committee (RNC), National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), as well as each party’s state and local committees and other party committees.

Political Party Activity from Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2014
(figures in millions)

Party Committees
Receipts
Disbursements
Debts Owed
Cash on Hand
DNC
$163.3
$160.7
  $5.9
  $6.9
DSCC
$168.3
$169.2
$21.4
  $0.9
DCCC
$206.8
$206.1
$10.0
  $2.1
State and Local Democratic
Party Committees (federal funds)
$202.8
$182.6
  $2.5
  $9.3
Total*
$657.2
$634.6
$39.8
$19.2
         
RNC
$194.9
$194.6
  $3.5
  $5.0
NRSC
$128.3
$129.0
$10.0
  $2.7
NRCC
$153.5
$153.5
  $7.8
  $1.5
State and Local Republican
Party Committees (federal funds)
$149.2
$136.0
  $2.7
  $8.6
Total*
$565.7
$552.9
$24.0
 $17.8
         
Total Other Party**
  $4.8
   $4.9
  $0.1
   $0.6
         
Total Party Activity*
$1,227.7
$1,192.3
$64.0
$37.6

*The totals in this line may not equal the sum of the numbers in the corresponding columns as the receipts and disbursements have been adjusted to account for transfers between party committees and the numbers have been rounded.

**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.

Individuals, for whom contributions to national parties were limited to $32,400 this election cycle, were the largest source of federal funds for party committees. Democratic and Republican party committees reported receiving $482.6 million and $394.5 million, respectively, from individuals. PACs and other political committees contributed $76.7 million to Democratic party committees and $83.6 million to Republican party committees as of December 31, 2014.

Democratic and Republican House campaign committees transferred $25.9 million and $42.6 million, respectively, from their campaign accounts to their national congressional party committees in 2013 and 2014. Democratic and Republican U.S. Senate campaign committees transferred $8.2 million and $4.1 million, respectively, from their campaign accounts to their national senatorial party committees.

Data summary tables for reports submitted to the Commission through December 31, 2014 by political party committees can be found here.

III. Political Action Committees (PACs)

Based on reports filed with the Commission in 2013 and 2014, 7,548 federal PACs reported total receipts of $2.4 billion, disbursements of $2.3 billion, debts of $26.7 million, and combined cash-on-hand of $477.8 million.  

The following table summarizes campaign finance activity of PACs based on PAC type in 2013 and 2014. This table includes both separate segregated funds (SSFs), which have connected organizations such as corporations or labor organizations that establish, administer or raise money on their behalf, and nonconnected committees.

PAC Activity from Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2014
(monetary figures in millions)

Committee Type
No. of PACs
Receipts
Disbursements
Debts Owed
Cash on Hand
Separate Segregated Funds
 
Corporate
1,804
 
$384.8
$370.7
$0.2
$146.5
Labor
288
 
$305.7
$289.2
$2.6
$101.7
Trade
722
 
$146.3
$140.4
$0.0
  $57.4
Membership
245
 
$156.4
$150.1
$1.6
  $34.4
Cooperative
41
 
   $7.7
   $7.0
$0.0
   $4.6
Corporations without Stock
114
 
  $19.7
  $19.4
$0.4
   $3.9
 
Nonconnected PACs*
 
Independent Expenditure-Only Political Committees
1,618
 
$696.2
$687.2
$15.7
 $42.5
Committees w/ Non-Contribution Accounts
105
 
$320.7
$312.6
$1.0
 $17.8
Leadership PACs
558
 
$126.1
$122.2
$0.1
  $29.8
Other Nonconnected PACs
2,053
 
$205.0
$205.8
$5.1
  $39.2
Total SSF and Nonconnected PAC Activity**
7,548
 
$2,368.6
$2,304.8
$26.7
$477.8

*Nonconnected committees include Independent Expenditure-Only Political Committees, Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts and Leadership PACs. Independent Expenditure-Only Political Committees are committees that may receive unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, and labor organizations for the purpose of financing independent expenditures and other independent political activity. Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts solicit and accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, labor organizations, and other political committees to a segregated bank account for the same purposes as Independent Expenditure-Only Political Committees, while maintaining a separate bank account -- subject to all of the statutory amount limitations and source prohibitions -- that is permitted to make contributions to federal candidates. The data above includes receipts and disbursements from both bank accounts of Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts. Leadership PACs are political committees that are directly or indirectly established, financed, maintained or controlled by a candidate or an individual holding federal office, but are neither authorized committees of the candidate or officeholder nor affiliated with an authorized committee of a candidate or officeholder. Like other multicandidate PACs, a leadership PAC may contribute up to $5,000 per election to a federal candidate committee.

**The totals in this line may not equal the sum of the numbers in the corresponding columns as these numbers have been rounded. Instead, the bottom-line totals correspond to PAC Table 1.

Contributions by PACs to congressional candidates seeking office in the 2013-2014 election cycle totaled $435.9 million as of December 31, 2014. PAC contributions to Senate and House candidates totaled $94.3 million and $341.6 million, respectively. Independent Expenditure-Only Political Committees are prohibited from making contributions to candidates.

Data summary tables for reports submitted to the Commission through December 31, 2014 by PACs can be found here.

IV. Independent Expenditures

All independent expenditures reported to the Commission in 2013 and 2014 in connection with congressional elections in the 2013-2014 election cycle totaled $787.8 million.* Independent Expenditure-Only Political Committees accounted for $339.4 million of all independent expenditures disclosed to the Commission, Committees with Non-Contribution Accounts reported $2.6 million, and other PACs reported $48.8 million. Independent expenditures made by persons other than political committees totaled $168 million, and party committees reported independent expenditures totaling $229 million.

Data summary tables for independent expenditure filings submitted to the Commission through December 31, 2014 can be found here.

A political committee must itemize its payments for independent expenditures once the calendar-year total paid to a vendor or other person exceeds $200 with respect to a particular election. Any other person (individual, partnership or group of individuals) must file a report with the FEC at the end of the first reporting period in which independent expenditures with respect to a given election aggregate more than $250 in a calendar year and in any succeeding period during the same year in which additional independent expenditures of any amount are made.

V. Electioneering Communications

Electioneering communication filings totaling $7.3 million were reported to the Commission in connection with activity in the 2013-2014 election cycle. An electioneering communication is a broadcast, cable or satellite communication that refers to a clearly identified federal candidate and is distributed 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.

The data summary table for electioneering communication filings submitted to the Commission through December 31, 2014 can be found here.

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