Just halfway through 2021, fundraising efforts for the 2022 congressional elections are already in full swing.
All House and Senate candidates filed new campaign finance reports last week detailing their fundraising and expenditures between April 1 and June 30, 2021.
Here are some key numbers to know, based on an Issue One review of these new filings.
The median amount of money raised during the second quarter of 2021 by a sitting senator running for reelection in 2022 was $1.2 million — the equivalent of about $13,200 per day. That’s more than five times as much money as their colleagues who are not facing reelection this election cycle, who typically raised $215,000 between April and June — about $2,400 per day. And it’s about $205,000 more than the typical senator running for reelection in 2022 raised between January and March of this year.
Combined, all incumbent senators raised $103 million from individuals, political action committees, and other sources between April and June. That’s $22 million more than all incumbent senators raised between January and March of this year, and it’s nearly twice as much as all incumbent senators raised during the same time period two years ago. In total, during the first half of 2021, incumbent senators have raised more than $185 million dollars through their campaigns.
The median amount of money raised between April and June by a member of the House of Representatives running for reelection in 2022 was $233,000 — or about $2,600 per day. That’s an increase from $1,600 raised per day during the first quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, the median amount raised by freshman House members was $273,000 — or about $3,000 per day. The typical House incumbent running for reelection in a race they won by less than 5 percentage points in 2020 raised roughly $592,000 during the second quarter — about $6,500 per day, or 2.5 times as much money as the typical House member.
Combined, all House members raised $156 million from individuals, political action committees, and other sources between April and June. In total, during the first six months of 2021, House members have raised a total of about $284 million.
92% of members of Congress — including 91% of House members and all but four senators — have leadership PACs, political action committees that operate in addition to lawmakers’ official campaign committees. These PACs are often criticized by liberals and conservatives alike as slush funds. Created in the late 1970s as a way for members of Congress to raise extra money to give away to fellow politicians, leadership PACs open the door to corruption in two ways: Their funding often comes from special interest groups with business before Congress, and some politicians use them to fund lavish lifestyles, often under the guise of fundraising. Most leadership PACs must file their first campaign finance reports of 2021 with the FEC by midnight on Saturday, July 31.