FEC: 2008 election spending doubled 2004

June 8, 2009 at 7:09 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 8 (UPI) -- Receipts in the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign nearly doubled the 2004 total, totaling more than $1.8 billion, the Federal Election Commission said Monday.

Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, received $84.1 million in public funds to conduct his general election campaign and raised an additional $46.4 million for legal and accounting expenses, the FEC reported.

Democratic nominee Barack Obama, then a senator from Illinois, raised $745.7 million in private funds for his primary nomination and general election campaign.

Obama's was the first campaign in the history of presidential public financing in which a major party nominee did not accept public funds -- and its restrictions -- for the general election, the FEC said.

The two parties received $16.8 million each in federal funds for their nominating conventions, while host committees raised a total of $124.3 million in support of their activities.

Individuals, parties and other groups spent $168.8 million independently to advocate the election or defeat of presidential candidates during the 2008 campaign. In the three previous election cycles, similar spending totaled $192.4 million, $14.7 million and $1.4 million.

In 2008, the Democratic National Committee spent $1.1 million on independent expenditures, while the Republican National Committee spent $53.5 million, the FEC said. The national parties also spent a combined $25.3 million in concert with the 2008 presidential campaigns during the general election period.

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