Presidential Fundraising Down; Congressional Up

Thursday, 05 Jul 2012 10:28 AM

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Presidential fundraising and spending this year is about half of what it was through the first quarter of 2008. However, the Federal Election Commission reports that congressional candidates are spending much more now than they did four years ago, The Washington Post reported.

The key difference at the presidential level is the lack of a contested Democratic primary. Four years ago Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were engaged in a brutal battle and on the GOP side a number of prominent candidates, such as Mitt Romney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain, were battling it out.

“In 2008, you had a higher quality field of candidates and more of them,” Bill Allison, editorial director at the Sunlight Foundation, which tracks money in politics, told the Post. “It was a wide-open race on both sides.”

By March of 2008, presidential candidates in both parties had raised $848.7 million and spent nearly $800 million, the FEC data showed according to the Post. This year, Obama and the GOP challengers raised a combined $418.9 million and spent just $312.6 million through March.

However, 1,600 House and Senate candidates raised a combined $884.6 million as of March 31 and spend $453.5 million compared with compared with raising $685.9 million in 2008. The numbers are close to those of 2010 when the GOP took control of the House of Representatives. In 2010, congressional candidates raised $857.5 million and spent $454.3 million by March 31, the Post reported.


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