4/7/10 12:57 PMAn Overview of State Campaigns, 2007-2008Page 3 of 19http://www.followthemoney.org/press/PrintReportView.phtml?r=420
For the first time ever,legislative candidatesraised more than $1billion in the 2008election cycle
A BIRDS-EYE VIEW OF STATE CAMPAIGNS IN 2007 AND 2008
More than 15,000 candidates who sought offices ranging from the state legislature to the governor's seat raisednearly $1.5 billion during state elections held in 2007 and 2008. State office-holders who were not up for election raised an additional $172 million.The $1.6 billion raised by candidates and office-holders during the 2007–2008 election cycle was slightly morethan the $1.4 billion raised during the comparable 2003–2004 elections.In addition to the above $1.6 billion, committees organized around ballot measures raised $869 million, state political parties raised nearly $370 million, and state legislative caucuses raised $178 million.A review of the $3 billion raised in state campaigns during the 2007–2008 elections shows that:
Legislative campaigns were the most expensive ever
. For thefirst time, state legislative candidates broke the $1 billion mark.The $1 billion they raised was 9 percent more than the $962million raised in 2005–2006 elections, and 26 percent more thanthe $828.6 million raised in 2003–2004 elections.
State races were often not truly competitive.
Nationwide, nearlytwo-thirds of the state legislative races were contested during thegeneral elections. However, just one-third of those races were monetarily competitive. The same wasobserved in the gubernatorial races: although all 14 races were contested, just four were monetarilycompetitive.
Office-holders attracted most of the cash.
Winners attracted two-thirds of the money raised by thoserunning for election. Incumbents seeking re-election collected about half of the money.
Incumbents sought—and won—re-election in most races.
Incumbents sought re-election in 84 percent of the seats up for election—with good reason: the power of incumbency led to a 93 percentsuccess rate.
Money and incumbency remained nearly unbeatable
. Incumbent legislators who had larger war chests than their challengers were nearly unbeatable—94 percent won their re-election campaigns.
Supreme Court campaigns stayed the course
. Candidates running for a seat on their states' highestcourt raised $43.5 million, comparable to what they raised in 2000 and 2004 (each about $46 million).Partisan races, in which candidates identify with a political party during the election, attracted 71 percent of the money raised in high court races.
Democrats and Republicans were evenly-matched
. Although Democrats fielded more candidates— 7,226 compared to Republicans' 6,301; they raised comparable amounts on average: $103,439 byDemocrats and $106,083 by Republicans.