April 7th, 2008
11:38 AM ET
13 years ago

Congressional candidates raise $500 million in '07

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and the nearly 20-plus other presidential hopefuls were not the only politicians participating in the money chase last year. Congressional candidates – incumbents and challengers – raised more than $500 million for their own campaigns in 2007, according to a new analysis released by the Federal Election Commission.

After crunching the numbers, the FEC concluded that candidates running for the Senate raised $164.5 million last year, while those seeking House seats took in nearly $343 million. The 2007 House total is a 22 percent increase from 2005 – the most recent comparable year. As the FEC notes it is difficult to compare Senate data to previous election cycles because different states hold contests every two years.

The FEC looked at 102 Senate and 929 House candidates.

Read the highlights after the jump


– Comedian turned Senate candidate Al Franken raised nearly $7 million from individual contributors to lead that category;

– Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus was the top recipient of donations from political action committees and other committees taking in more than $2.1 million;

– Niki Tsongas, who won a special House election in 2007 to keep a Massachusetts seat in Democratic hands, was the top recipient of individual contributions with $2.1 million;

– House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel took in nearly $1.6 million from political action committees and other committees to lead that category.

Click here to see the full report: http://www.fec.gov/press/press2008/20080407candidate/20080407candidate.shtml

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

Filed under: Politics
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. jp,michigan

    I find it so sad, that politics is so costly, you keep donating to a candidate of your choice with no grantees. There are so many that are more so now homeless, jobless and wonder how to feed their children. So many veterans that can't even get a fair shake form the government. It is sad and also so disgusting, to spent millions for really what! The entire election process stinks. There should be only one month for all states primaries, no caucuses. Popular vote wins the nomination from every party. Then one election in November, no conventions, the winner chosen by popular vote. Less money involvment , the voice of the people choose, their next President, Senator, House of Representative. All elections the same.

    April 7, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. jp,michigan

    Entire election system stinks. Millions for what, while there are Americans homeless, jobless and wondering how to feed their kids.

    April 7, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  3. For Obama

    You know its amazing here we are on a brink of recession and these campaigns have raised so much money.. for this silly stupid fight! THink of how much money would have been saved and used to fuel the economy and how much people could have kept in their pocketbooks if they didnt feel they had to give to a certain campaign to fight for their person. Its so obvious who is the front winner and who is going to win this thing... if one would just bow out like she should... it would save alot of money that could be in turn used to fix our nation, instead of wasted down the drain.

    April 7, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. RealityKing

    Corruption in its worse form.., government.

    April 7, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. KC


    April 7, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. YoungGrad

    I too am an Obama supporter but I see this report differently:
    A) this shows Americans actively participating in their government.
    B) Unlike the stimulus package which will send Americans checks that many will use to buy goods from overseas, the vast majority of this money is being reinvested in America. Whether it is for the rental of a specific venue or to buy a TV ad in a competitive market, this money is staying home

    I would like to see how many donors make up this statistic however. What is the average donation?

    April 7, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    April 7, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. JRT

    The comments from For Obama are interesting. With the exception of the Obama campaign the numbers are actually quite staggering about who gives money to political candidates. Less than 4% of the American population donates to political campaigns, and those who do donate tend to have enough money that they donate in the large sums. It does not hold water to suggest that if HRC exited the race more money would be pouring into the economy. In fairness, by staying in the race the Clinton campaign is probably boosting the economies of Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Indiana. I am not an Obama or HRC supporter so don't target me either way in response.

    April 7, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. rdbtwthlins

    How much health insurance would 500 million buy??

    April 7, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. LifeLongDemocrat

    For Obama, the race isn't over. There are many states and many people who have not had a chance to vote. This is not the election, this is a party matter and the superdelegates and others in the party can pick whoever they want. We then, can decide who we will vote for or NOT vote for. As for me, I am still holding out hope that I can keep my record of never having voted for a Republican but will not vote for Obama!

    April 7, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. kathleen

    Let's get this over with. And then we can run a fundraiser for the
    poor. It is amazing to me that we can raise so much money for
    a campaign that has been basically finished. Can we raise money
    for the China debt so they won't own us anymore. And, are the Chinese
    buying our homes that are being forclosed upon. American is in
    bigger trouble than we know. The War, The Debt to China, China
    owning us. That is sad. Really.

    Did Hillary's Donation to Charity go into her and Bill's own Library
    or Charity? I want to know. Tell us.

    Obama 2008

    April 7, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. Okra Mouth

    Yeah.....! Right........!!!

    U. S. Government is on sale to the highest bidder.

    The more money you have on your hands, the more likely you are to win a position of power.

    Our so-called democracy only seems to favor the RICH and WELL-CONNECTED to win a position of power.

    Therefore poor people who refuse to take money from BIG corporations and their lobbyists have no chance of winning elections.

    Talking about BIG corporations and their lobbyists; McCain is the worst, followed by Hillary. These two have taken so much money from Lobbyists, so they surely own them a BIG favor when they when.

    Obama is also not very innocent. He accepts private money from lobbyists, but only when they contribute to his campaign online. Therefore according to FEC rules, they maximum lobbyists can give to Obama is $2300.

    We should be afraid of McCain and Hillary; they have taken tens of millions of dollars from BIG corporations and their lobbyists. Since they PUBLICLY accepts funds them, they are considered a part of their campaign; hence FEC $2300 donation limit does not apply. So these two candidates can take as much money from them, so long as those corporations are willing to give.

    April 7, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. JOE

    Not nearly enough.

    April 7, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Marine

    Am I looking at this wrong. These guys are gooing to spend at least 5 times more money than make to keep these jobs. Who in their righ mind would do something like that. Corruption me thinks.

    April 7, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Carl

    I'm sick of this private fundraising garbage. I'm very anti-socialist, but I believe that we could use one thing with our taxes that would make these races 10 times better.

    We can allot the same amount of money through our taxes to each candidate, and they would not be allowed to privately fund their campaign.

    How nice would that be? Oh wait, it's a good idea; it would never work.

    April 7, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  16. Chris in SD

    Be quiet about the economy. The economic stimulus package, a pretty modest package, is $150 billion dollars. The figure in this article is $500 million on campaigns. So multiply the money spent on this election by about 300 and then we have a decent economic stimulus. Until we've reached around $100 billion on this campaign though, keep your mouth shut about the economy b/c you wilil look like an uneducated fool that can't perform basic math.

    April 7, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. rod

    " For the love of money is a root of all kinds of " [ Bible ] corruption. Both Government and Church threw the first stone on the tax payer. One thing leads to another and no one wants to confess their compaign donation.

    April 7, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. Annamica, OH

    I'm sorry, but last time I checked no one was telling the Obama supporters what to do with their money. Please don't take your aggravations out on us for donating to Hillary because your candidate could possibly lose the nomination, just like Hillary could possibly lose. It is ridiculous to suggest either should drop out. I'm am so tired of the Hillary hating on this ticker.

    April 7, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |