Raising campaign cash has essentially become a second full-time job for most members of Congress, especially those in competitive reelection races. Yet this fundraising treadmill comes at a steep cost. Hours spent dialing for dollars are hours diverted away from lawmakers’ legislative and oversight responsibilities.
In a new analysis, Issue One has highlighted 13 key numbers to know about congressional fundraising during the 117th Congress, based on our review of recently filed campaign finance reports that cover all of lawmakers’ activities between January 2021 and December 2022.
Among them are the following startling statistics:
- The typical member of the House of Representatives who stood for reelection in November 2022 raised $2.1 million during the 2022 election cycle — an average of about $2,800 per day.
- The typical House incumbent running for reelection in 2022 in a race rated as a toss-up by the Cook Political Report raised $5.3 million during the 2022 election cycle — an average of about $7,200 per day, or roughly 2.5 times as much money as the typical House member.
- The typical senator running for reelection in 2022 raised $11.4 million between January 2021 and December 2022 — an average of about $15,600 per day.
- 24% of all the money collectively raised by senators running for reelection in 2022 between January 2021 and December 2022 was collected by just one man, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), who raised $184 million — an average of about $260,000 per day.
- 93% of members of the 117th Congress had a leadership PAC. These PACs combined to raise $243 million, mostly from wealthy individuals and special interest PACs. The typical member of Congress with a leadership PAC raised $175,000 for their leadership PAC between January 2021 and December 2022. And 60% of freshman House members of the 118th Congress have already formed leadership PACs.
These numbers show that lawmakers — especially those in the most competitive races — remain under intense pressure to raise money, each and every day.