The Heritage Foundation

Issue Bulletin #37

March 19, 1979

March 19, 1979 | Issue Bulletin on

Taxpayer Financing of Elections: Government as a Special Interest (H.R.I)

(Archived document, may contain errors)

37

March 19, 1979

TAXPA YER FINANCING OF ELECTIONS.-. GOVERNMENT AS A SPECIAL INTEREST

(H.R. 1)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Status and Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Current Federal Election Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

H.R. 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

The Presidential Election Campaign Fund . . . . . . . . . 11

The Advantage of Incumbency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

General Election Candidates for the House in 1976 . . . . 15

General Election Candidates for the House in 1978 . . . . 22

Distinguishing Between Primary and General Election Expenditures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

General Summary and Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

TAXPAYER FINANCING OF ELECTIONS:

GOVERNMENT AS A SPECIAL INTEREST

(H.R. 1)

STATUS

on January 15, Representative Abner mikva (D-Ill.), along with more than 150 cosponsors, introduced H.R. 1, a bill providing for partial government funding of general election campaigns for the House of Representatives. The bill was referred to the Committee on House Administration where hearings were scheduled for March 15, 20, 21, 22, 27 and 28.

BACKGROUND ON FEDERAL FUNDING OF ELECTIONS AND FEDERAL ELECTION LAW

In 1966, Congress passed, and President Johnson signed into law, a measure establishing a Presidential Election Campaign Fund, financed by a -i.-oluntary $1 checkoff from income taxes paid by in- dividual taxpayers. But Congress repealed the law at the beginning of the next Congress.

In 1970, Congress approved a bill limiting spending on radio and television political broadcasting, but President Nixon vetoed the bill. The Senate failed to override the veto.

On April 7, 1972, President Nixon signed into law the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. Among its provisions, the new law restricted campaign spending for all media -- television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and billboards. The law also placed a ceiling on contributions by any candidate or his immediate family to his own campaign of $50,000 for president or vice-president, $35,000 for senator and $25,000 for representative. Also in 1971, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund was established into law. The new statute allowed taxpayers to con- tribute to a general fund for all eligible presidential and vice- presidential candidates by authorizing $1 of their annual income tax payment to be placed in such a fund. In addition, the law provided for the complete federal financing of presidential cam- paigns for all major party candidates who chose federal financing. The presidential election of 1976 was the first campaign to be so funded.

In 1973, the Senate passed a sweeping bill limiting campaign expenditures and contributions and creating a Federal Election Commission, but the House did not act on the bill. The bill in- cluded federal financing of congressional campaigns.

In 1974, comprehensive amendments to the 1971 Federal Election Campaign Act were signed into law. A Senate amendment providing for government financing of congressional campaigns was deleted in conference with the House.

Among its provisions, the new law:

\u239\'95 created a Federal Election Commission;

\u239\'95 established limitations on campaign contributions to candidates by individuals, political parties, and political action committees (whether union-affiliated, corporate-affiliated, or independent);

\u239\'95 prohibited independent expenditures of more than $1,000 on behalf of a candidate;

\u239\'95 repealed the media spending limitations of the 1971 Act;

\u239\'95 retained the limitations on a candidate's personal spending of the 1971 Act;

\u239\'95 provided for optional government financing of presidential conventions and general elections and matching govern- ment payments for presidential primary campaigns;

\u239\'95 established spending limitations for all federal elections -- $10 million per candidate for all presi- dential primaries; $20 million per candidate for the presidential general election; $100,000 or eight cents per eligible voter, whichever was greaterfor Senate primaries; $150,000 or twelve cents per eligible voter, whichever was greater, for Senate general elections; $70,000 for House primaries; $70,000 for House general elections.

Provisions of the 1971 Act and its 1974 Amendments were challenged in a suit, Buckley v. Valeo, which the Supreme Court decided on January 30, 1976. The Court upheld the provisions of the law that set limits on how much individuals and political committees could contribute to candidates, that provided for the public financing of political party conventions and presidential primary and general election campaigns, and that required the disclosure of campaign contributions and campaign expenditures.

But the court found that the composition of the Federal Elec- tion Commission violated the Constitution's separation of powers clause because some commissioners were appointed by Congress but exercised executive powers. The Court also overturned limitations on independent expenditures, personal expenditures by candidates on their campaigns, and spending ceilings in congressional races. For presidential campaigns, the court stated that the ceiling on expenditures of those candidates who accepted public financing was constitutional.

Immediately following the Supreme Court's decision, Congress passed the 1976 Amendments to the FEC Act,which were signed into law on May 11, 1976. Besides reconstituting the FEC along the lines laid down by the court, the major provision of the amendments laid down new restrictions on political fund raising by unions and cor- porations.

During the first session (1977) of the 95th Congress, both houses of Congress turned serious attention to federal financing of congressional races. President Carter, Speaker of the House Tip O'Neil (D-Mass.),and Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) all expressed support for the idea. on June 24, the Senate Rules Committee reported a bill, S. 926, providing for federal financing of Senate general elections only. A provision of the original bill providing for government financing of primary elections was deleted in committee. S. 926, as reported, established a campaign spending ceiling of $250,000 plus ten cents multiplied by each state's voting-age population. Major party candidates would have auto- matically received 25 percent of their spending ceiling in federal funds, and in addition, would have been eligible for matching funds on all individual contributions of $100 or less up to the spending limit. Only contributions received within fourteen months of the general election would have been matchable.

The bill further provided that candidates accepting federal financing would have been limited to spending only $35,000 of their own money in their campaigns. If a candidate exceeded the personal or total spending limit, his rival would have been eligible for up to 62.5 percent more than the spending limit in matching funds. Third party candidates would not have been eligible for automatic grants but could have received matching funds if they raised $100,000 or 10 percent of the spending limit through individual contributions of $100 or less. Money to finance S. 926 would have come from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. When the bill came to the floor of the Senate,Republicans and southern Democrats initiated a filibuster which survived three cloture votes and finally succeeded in killing the bill. In October of 1977, public financing of House elections was revived after 155 Democrat members signed a letter asking that a bill be reported. An unnumbered bill was introduced into the House Administration Committee for markup on October 25. The bill pro- vided up to $25,000 in matching public funds for major party can- dicates who agreed to limit general election campaign spending to $125,000 plus $25,000 for fund raising costs. only private contri- butions of $100 or less would have been matched. If a candidate exceeded the limit, his rival would have been eligible for up to $50,000 more in matching funds. The bill also provided $25,000 per candidate in federal grants for a district-wide mailing to be used between July 1 and two weeks before the election. The grant counted against the spending total.

Third party and independent candidates could receive money only retroactively. To qualify for matching funds, they had to receive at least 5 percent of the vote. Like the Senate plan, the bill was to be financed from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. But the bill was killed when the committee voted to accept an amend- ment by Mendel Davis (D-S.C.) to extend federal financing to pri- maries as well. The amendment would have increased the cost to the government dramatically.

In 1978, during the second session of the 95th Congress, the Democrat leadership made two attempts to bring federal financing of House campaigns directly to the floor of the House. In March, the public financing proposal was attached to a controversial bill (H.R. 11315) lowering the limits on spending by parties and political action committees. By a 198-209 vote, the House refused to approve the rule that would have allowed floor consideration of the bill. Republican members voted unanimously against the rule, 0-140; Southern Democrats also voted against the rule 35-49; Northern Democrats favored the rule, 163-20.

Two major changes were made in the bill after the March defeat. The effective date was pushed back from 1978 to 1980, and the spending limits were raised from $125,000 plus $25,000 for fund raising costs to $150,000 plus $30,000 for fund raising. The rest of the bill remained the same.

On July 19, 1978, during floor consideration of the FEC fiscal 1979 appropriations bill, a motion was made to end debate. Sup- porters of government financing sought to defeat the motion in order to permit drafting of an alternative rule that would have allowed a House vote on the revised government financing bill. The motion carried 213-196, with the majority, therefore, voting against government financing of House elections. Republicans supported the rule 106-30; Southern Democrats 62-22; but Northern Democrats op- posed the rule 45-144. CURRENT FEDERAL ELECTION LAW

Some relevant definitions from and provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended in 1974 and 1976:

Election. A general, special, primary, or runoff election; a convention or caucus of a political party which has the authority to nominate a candidate; a primary election held for the expression of a preference for the nomination of persons for elections to the office of president; a primary election held for the selection of delegates to a national nominating convention of a political party.

Contribution. A gift, subscription, advance, loan, or deposit of money or anything of value, including in-kind contributions, made for the purpose of influencing an election, but does not include: 1) legal and accounting services; 2) the value of the services of a person who on his own initiative volunteers his services without renumeration; 3) the use of real or personal property of a value up to $500; 4) the value of the discount given on the sale of food or beverages up to the-value of $500; 5) unreimbursed travel ex- penses up to $500; 6) sample ballots listing at least three candi- dates which are distributed by political parties.

Contribution Limits. An individual can give no more than $5,000 a year to a poli:Eical action committee, no more than $20,000 a year to the national committee of a political party, no more than $25,000 a year aggregate political contributions. An individual can give $1 ,000 per election to candidates or their authorized political committees.

Multi-candidate political committees (which includes political party committees) can give no more than $15,000 a year to the na- tional committee of a political party, no more tHan $5,000 per election to a candidate or his authorized committees. A special exception allows the Democrat and Republican senatorial campaign committees to give $17,500 a year to their senatorial candidates.

Expenditures. A purchase, payment, distribution, loan, ad- vance, deposit, or gift of money or anything of value, including costs for fund raising used for the purpose of influencing federal elections, but does not include: 1) any media coverage of a cam- paign; 2) non-partisan get-out-the-vote drives; 3) internal com- munications of unions and corporations; 4) political communications not for the purpose of influencing elections; 5) unreimbursed travel expenses up to $500; 6) the use of real or personal property up to a value of $500; 7) the distribution of sample ballots; 8) presi- dential candidate fund raising costs up to 20 percent of the spending ceiling; 9) legal and accounting services; 10) a loan by a bank to a candidate.

Expenditure Limits. Presidential and vice-presidential candi- dates are limited to spending no more than $50,000 of their own or their family's money on their campaigns if they accept public financing. Presidential candidates who accept matching funds (which match individualprivate contributions of $250 or less) can spend no more than $l0,Ooo,d_dO_ combined p-u-blic- and private money' (plus an additional 20 percent for fund raising costs) on their primary campaigns. In addition, there is a per capita spending limitation per state for each candidate campaigning in primaries. The major party general election candidates are limited to a government grant of $20 million plus 20 percent for fund raising costs for their general election campaigns. For congressional campaigns, national and state political party committees can separately spend the greater of $20,000 or two cents multiplied by the voting age population of a state for Senate races, and $10,000 for House races. The national committee of a political party may also spend two cents multiplied by the national voting age population on behalf of its presidential candidate. There is no limitation on "independent expenditures," that is, expenditures by any individual or non-party political committee in support or opposition to a candidate as long as such expenditures are not coordinated with or approved by a candidate or his campaign com- mittees. Unions and corporations may not spend any of their treasury funds directly on behalf of a candidate. But they may use treasury funds in order to set up political committees for the purpose of soliciting campaign funds from their employees, stockholders, or members.

Principal Campaign Committee. The main campaign committee designated by a candidate to administer his campaign. A principal campaign committee normally collects most of the contributions and makes most of the expenditures on behalf of a candidate, al- though this is no always so.

Authorized Committees. A committee empowered in writing by a candidate to-solicit or receive contributions or make expendi- tures on his behalf. Any authorized committees are in addition to the principal campaign committee. A candidate may authorize as many of these committees as he wants. These committees con- duct campaign activities separately from the principal campaign committee. They are normally not as large nor do they play as prominent a role in the campaign as the principal campaign com- mittee.

H.R. 1

H.R . 1 includes two important definitions:

Authorized Committee. For purposes of the bill, an authorized committee would embrace the current law's definitions of both principal campaign committee and authorized committee. All au- thorized committees would have to abide by the provisions of H.R. 1.

Election. "Any regularly scheduled, special or runoff election which directly results in the election of a person to the office of representative in, or delegate or resident commissioner to, the Congress." Thus any primaries or nomination caucuses or conven- tions are excluded.

1. Spending Limitations. Limits overall expenditures by a candidate to $150,000 for a general election campaign, plus 20 percent ($30,000) for fund raising costs, and 10 percent ($15,000) for one mailing within the district, for a total of $195,000. To this total, a candidate can contribute and/or loan $25,000 of his personal funds or those of his immediate family.

By way of comparison, under the FEC Act of 1976, presi- dential nominees, are given 20percent ($2 million) from the government for fund raising costs over and above the $20 million they receive for the general election campaign. They are given no additional allowances for any mailings. The 1974 Amendments to the FEC Act, since struck down by the Supreme Court and subsequently repealed by Congress, had provided spending limitations of $70,000 per primary or general election to the House, plus a 20 percent ($14,000) exemption above the limit for fund raising costs.

The plan would be optional. If a candidate chose to fund his election completely from private sources and spent more than $75,000 and/or more than $25,000 from his personal funds, and/or receivedmore than $75,000 in contributions, whether he spent that sum or not, (he must notify the FEC within forty-eight hours after any of these three occur), then the expenditure ceiling for his opponent would be lifted.

Once a candidate has agreed to the government funding matching program, he must abide by the restrictions.

In addition, the FEC could suspend the spending ceiling for another reason. If the combination of independent expenditures and internal communications (partisan political communications by unions to their members or corporations to their stockholders) with respect to any one House election exceeded $50,000 and if one of the candidates received the benefit of not more than one-third of this amount, then that candidate could petition the FEC to lift his spending limitation of $150,000.

For example, if the total of independent expenditures and internal communications on behalf of both candidates in an election, as reported by the spenders to the FEC in pre-election reports, was $60,000 -- $45,000 for Candidate X and $15,000 (less than one-third of $60,000) for Candidate Y, then Candidate Y could petition the FEC to lift his spending limit of $150,000. Another example: if the total of independent and internal communication spending was at least $50,000 in support of Candidate X and none in support of Candidate Y, then candidate Y could request the suspension of the spending limit. 2. Matching Funds. Establishes the House of Representa- tives Election Campaign Fund, a new account of the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, in the U.S. Treasury. Authorize.9 govern- ment payments to match individual contributions of $100 or less received after January 1 of the election year only. No individual's contribution or combination of contributions in excess of $100 would be matched by government funds. Eighty percent of the con- tributions used for matching funds must come from the individuals residing in the state, not necessarily the congressional district, where the election is held. Loans would not be matched.

A candidate would receive an initial matching payment of $1,000, and then additional matching payments adding up to 40 per- cent ($60,000) of the spending limit. These additional matching payments would be paid in $10,000 sums matching the receipt of $10,000 in private contributions, except that a candidate could designate "a final matching payment" in order to receive all of the money entitled to him at once.

If a candidate's opponent had rejected the public funding system and had spent more than $25,000 of his own money, and/or received more than $75,000 in private contributions, and/or spent more than $75,000 in his campaign, then that candidate would be eligible for up to $60,000 more in matching funds. In addition, the candidate would be allowed to solicit new contributions, to be matched by federal payments, from individuals who had already contributed the matchable maximum of $100.

If a candidate's opponent incurred the benefit of two- thirds of aggregate internal communications and independent ex- penditures, that candidate would not be eligible for any more matching funds, but he would not have to abide by the $150,000 spending limit.

Considering all possibilities, the total federal matching payments could not exceed $180,000 for all candidates for any one House seat.

The new House of Representatives Election Campaign Fund would be an additional account in the Presidential Election Cam- paign Fund (the Fund) which now has three other accounts: the presidential primary matching fund account, the presidential party convention fund account, and the presidential general election fund account. Moneyfor the entire Presidential Election Campaign Fund comes from a system whereby taxpayers may designate one dollar of their income taxes to be placed in the Fund. Current law states that only money from this Fund can be used to pay for the presi- dential campaigns and conventions.

In presidential years, H.R. 1 requires the Secretary of the Treasury to determine how much will be necessary for the three presidential accounts and then release the remainder for use in the new House account for matching payments. By May 15 in non- presidential years, H.R. 1 requires the Secretary of the Treasury to withhold a sum equal to 60 percent of the amount disbursed for the three presidential accounts in the previous presidential elec- tion year and then release the remainder for the House account.

The bill includes an exception-for the 1980 elections. In 1980, the May 15 deadline would not apply and the Secretary of the Treasury would disburse amounts from the House account as candidates become eligible to receive them. Thus, in 1980, the House account would have priority over the presidential accounts. The Secretary would be allowed to reimburse the Fund for House account expenses from the amounts checked off by taxpayers in 1981 and 1982.

If in any year other than 1980 the FEC determined that the amount available for the House account would not be sufficient to pay the estimated full entitlements to each eligible candidate, then the FEC would be required to come up with a formula for ad- justing the payments to each candidate from the total available to all candidates.

Candidates would receive matching funds as soon as the FEC determined that they were eligible. But no candidate could receive matching funds before August 1, 1980.

No unopposed candidate could receive matching funds. Matching funds could not be used to repay loans or to make payments to the candidate, the candidate's immediate family, or to any organization ten percent of which is owned by the candidate or members of his immediate family. All matching funds would have to be deposited in a separate checking account which contains matching funds only, and all expenditures from the account would have to be by check. Matching funds could be used only to defray campaign expenses incurred for the general election, that is, they could be used only after a candidate wins his primary or otherwise qualifies for the general election ballot. Nor could matchin funds .be-used for -exp-en-ses incurred after the date of the election. Unused payments would have to be returned after the election. The FEC would be required to certify matching payments to a candidate within forty-eight hours after a candidate submits his request.

By way of comparison, the federal government distributes matching government funds of up to $5 million per presidential primary candidate after each candidate meets fund raising require- ments of $100,000 raised in amounts of at least $5,000 in each of twenty states or more. only the first $250 of individual private contributions can be matched. Only private contributions raised January 1 of the year prior to the election year can qualify for matching funds. Matching funds are paid out only after January 1 of the election year.

3. Candidate Eligibility. A special restrictions holds for the 1980 elections in that no candidate could be certified as eligible to receive matching payments before August 1, 1980. For that and other election years, the FEC would certify a candidate as eligible if within ten days after qualifying for the general election ballot in his state he had received $1,000 in private contributions of $100 or less, applied to the FEC, and agreed to:

a) furnish all campaign records, specifically those concerning contributions and expenditures, to the FEC;

b) cooperate in the event of any FEC audit or investigation of his campaign;

c) not accept any contributions in violation of the current law on contributions to political campaigns;

d) not spend more than $25,000 of his own personal funds or those of his immediate family in his campaign;

e) spend no more than a total of $195,000 in his campaign.

4. Examination, Audits, and Repayments. Requires the Federal Election Commission to conduct post-election audits of 10 percent of the candidates selected at random. Allows the FEC, by an affirmative vote of four of the six commissionersto conduct pre-election audits of any campaign that it suspects of violating the provisions of the bill. Requires the FEC to demand a full repayment of any amounts that it determines a candidate received in excess of what he was entitled to. Requires the FEC to demand a repayment of 200 percent of any amounts of matching funds that a candidate used to pay bills not connected with the general elec- tion or that a candidate used to repay any loan or used to pay him- self or his immediate family. Requires repayment of matching funds within sixty days after the election.

5. Reports to Congress. Requires the FEC to submit to Congress within six months after the elections a report of all financial activity concerning elections to the House.

6. Judicial Review. Allows "any interested party" to challenge FEC regulations under the bill in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, as long as the challenge is done within thirty days after the regulation is promulgated. Allows the FEC, the national committee of any political party, or any voting age citizen to seek declaratory judgment or injunctive relief in court against any administrative implementation or regulation drawn from the bill. Provides that if any provision of the bill is held invalid by a court, the validity of the re- mainder of the bill will not be affected.

What the bill does not do:

1. H.R. 1 does not change in any way the contributions and expenditure limitations (as previously explained) imposed by current law on candidates, individuals, party committees, and non- party political committees, except that a candidate opting for the matching fund system is prohibited from spending more than $25,000 of his personal funds.

2. H.R. 1 imposes no restrictions on how much a candidate can raise in contributions. It imposes restrictions on how much a candidate can spend. Thus, a candidate would be allowed to raise as much as he desires beyond $195,000. Under current FEC regulations, money raised foribut not spent in,an election can be used:

\u239\'95 for "any lawful purpose "

\u239\'95 for donations to charity;

\u239\'95 to fund an office account, newsletter account, or some other special account maintained by a congressman in connection with his duties as an elected official;

\u239\'95 for campaign contributions to a party, political com- committee, or another candidate; and

\u239\'95 in the next primary or general election campaign of a candidate.

3. It does not change the provisions of current law dealing with the campaign activities of non-party political com- mittees (commonly called "political action committees," or "PAC's") in any way. These PAC's include those associated with corporations, labor unions, trade associations, and those independent "ideologi- cal" PAC's.

4. It does not change the provisions of current law dealing with the campaign activities of political party committees.

THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN FUND

The following table lists the amounts received by the Fund since its creation in 1972.

YEAR AMOUNT CHECKED OFF PERCENT OF RETURNS CHECKED OFF

1972 $ 13 million 10 1973 17 14 1974 32 24 1975 34 26 1976 36 27.5 1977 39 28.9 $171 million Expenditures (Repayments deducted)

$23,734,885 Matching amounts paid to presidential primary election candidates in 1976.

3,597,401 Amount paid to the two major parties for the 1976 presidential nominating conven- tions.

43,640,000 Amount paid to the two major party presi- dential general election candidates.

$70,972,286 Total expenditures from fund in connec- tion with 1976 presidential race.

Possible Available Funds in 1980

$ 24.9 Million Cash on hand at end of 1976 plus repay- ments received from primary candidates and from party conventions.

39.0 Checked off in 1977.

41.5 Checked off in 1978 -- assuming an increase of $2.5 million over the 1977 amount -- a rough estimate after considering the pattern from 1974 to 1977.

44.0 Checked off in 1979 same assumption as in 1978.

46.5 Checked off in 1980 same assumption as in 1978.

$195.9 Million Available in Fund through the end of 1980.

General Elections. Under current law, the general election candidate of a major party is entitled to receive $20,000,000 plus adjustments for cost of living increases. This adjustment is calcu- lated annually from the base year of 1974. Thus, in 1976, the Democrat and Republican candidates received an extra $1.82 million for a total of $21.82 million. Minor party candidates are entitled to proportionally lesser amounts, but no minor party candidate quali- fied in 19.76.

Convention Fund. Under current law, each major party is entitled to receive up Eo- $2 million for its nominating convention plus an adjustment for cost of living increases. Adjustments are calculated according to the same formula used for presidential general elections. In 1976, the Democrat Convention was certified $2.186 million ($170 thousand was repayed as unused); the Republican convention $1.964 million ($382 thousand was repayed as unused). Primary Matching Fund. Under current law? a primary candidate can spend up to $10 million plus the same adjustments for cost of living increases. A candidate can receive matching federal funds for up to half of the total for private contributions of up to $250. In 1976, Ronald Reagan received the most of any primary candidate in matching funds: $5 million.

The Presidential Election Campaign Fund. Under current law, the Fund includes three accounts: the primary matching account, the convention account, and the general election account. Money received from the federal income tax dollar checkoff is automati- cally appropriated to the Fund. But no other money from the Treasury can be transferred to the Fund. Under current law, if the Secretary of the Treasury determines that there will not be enough money in the Fund to pay full entitlements to the three accounts in a presidential year, he is obliged to pro rate the payments by candidate and party according to how much money is available. Money for the matching fund account can be disbursed only if there is sufficient money to fund the general election account and the convention account. In addition, the convention account has priority over the general election account.

THE ADVANTAGE OF INCUMBENCY

It has long been recognized that an incumbent member of the House has enormous campaign advantages over his challenger. In recent years, most incumbents have been able to win reelection handily as the following chart demonstrates.-.-

REELECTION % OF INCUMBENTS ELECTION INCUMBENTS RUNNING IN YEAR DEFEATED IN PRIMARIES IN GENERAL ELECTION GENERAL ELECTION

1968 3 5 98.8 1970 7 12 96.9 1972 13 13 96.6 1974 a 40 89.6 1976 3 13 96.6 1978 5 19 95.0

Note: Most of the incumbents defeated in 1974, the Watergate year, were Republicans

The most comprehensive study of the incumbency advantage was published by Americans for Democratic Action in October, 1977. '(ADA S28c ia'l' Report': ' Advantage's of an Incumbent Seeking Reelection.) As far as was reasonable and practical, the ADA gave a mone- tary value to all the benefits and privileges accruing to a sitting member of the House and unavailable to his challenger. The study found that an incumbent enjoys an advantage of:

$387,984 Salaries and Office Space

143,245 Communications and Travel

35,962 Miscellaneous Benefits

$567,191 Total Advantages

Salaries and Office Space. Among other benefits, includes salaries of the member ' and all his staff (a maximum of eighteen for all offices), salaries for interns, allowances for all office equipment for all offices maintainedby a member, allowances for the renting of district offices, an estimate of the worth in rent of a member's Capitol Hill office, and allowances for office expenses.

Communications and Travel. Among other benefits, includes an estimate of the value of the franking privilege ($100,000); tele- phone, stationery, and envelopes allowances for all offices; and an estimated average travel allowance per member.

Miscellaneous Benefits. Includes an incumbent's fund raising advantage of $23,340 (based on the 1974 elections) and all puLications and "handouts" given free to each member, among which are the Congressional Record, the Federal Register, U.S. Code, wall calendars, copies of the Constitution, etc.

In the 1976 House elections, incumbents received an average of $41,510 more in contributions than their challengers. In the 1978 House elections, incumbents received an average of $71,486 more in contributions than all their challengers. This average advantage is reduced to $51,288 if all third party and independent challengers are eliminated.

These three categories of benefits do not include the use of the House television and recording studios. There is a charge for use of these studios, butthatcharge is substantially lower than commercial rates. Another benefit excluded is the continuing free publicity resulting from the press coverage of a congressman's term in office. Although it is impossible to attribute a monetary value to this publicity, it is probably an incumbent's greatest advantage over his opponent, and,assuredly, worth more than all the other benefits put together. GENERAL ELECTION CANDIDATES FOR THE HOUSE IN 1976

The statistics for these three tables are taken from FEC Disclosure Series No. 9, September 1977. FEC Disclosure Series do not make distinctions for receipts and expenditures between primary and general election campaigns. Thus, the receipt totals for these three tables include all financial activity over a two- year period, 1975-1976, (and these include any money spent in primaries as well as general elections) for candidates who ap- peared on the general election ballot. H.R. 1, of course, would make important distinctions between primary and general election expenditures. Candidate averages were calculated by The Heritage Foundation.

Soures of Total Adjusted Receipts by Party -- 1976 House Campaigns (Not including minor party and independent candidates) (Figures Rounded) (Loans outstanding as September 1977) (Contributions of $0-$100, $101-$499, and $500-$1,000 are Contributions of Individuals)

Democrats (433 Candidates) Republicans (390 Candidates)

Average/Candidate Average/Candidate $ Million % .$ Thousand $ Million % $ Thousand

35.06 100 80.96 30.20 100 77.43 Total 11.55 33 26.67 11.98 39.7 30.72 $0-$100 3.94 11.2 9.09 3.56 11.8 9.13 $101-$499 3.75 10.7 8.66 3.44 11.4 8.82 $500-$1,000 1.61 4.6 3.72 .71 2.3 1.82 Candidate Contributions 1.47 4.2 3.39 3.66 12.1 9.38 Party Contributions 9.41 26.8 21.73 5.31 17.6 13.62 Non-Party PAC Contributions 2.70 7.7 6.24 1.27 4.2 3.26 Candidate Loans Outstandin .43 1.2 .99 .17 .6 .43 Other Loans Outstanding .21 .6 .48 .10 .3 .26 Other Receipts

Highlights

The average Republican received more than the average Democrat in total individual contributions: $48,670 to $44,420.

The average Democrat significantly outdistanced the average Republican in candidate loans and candidate contributions.

The average Democrat significantly outdistanced the average Republican in non-party PAC contributions: $21,730 to $13,620.

The average Republican received almost tbree times as much from his party as the average Democrat: $9,380 to $3,390. Sources of Total Adjusted Receipts by Status -- 1976 House Campaigns (Not including open seats) (Figures rounded) (Contributions of $0-$100, $101-$499, and $500-$1,000 are Contributions of Individuals) (Loans outstanding as of September 1977)

Incumbents (385 Candidates) Challengers (370 Candidates)

Average/Candidate Average/Candidate Million % .$ Thousand $ Million % $ Thousand

35.07 100 91.10 18.35 100 49.59 Total 14.39 41 37.38 5.5 30.1 14.86 $0-$100 4.54 12.9 11.18 1.70 9.2 4.59 $101-$499 3.48 9.9 9.04 2.16 11.8 5.84 $500-$1,000 .90 .3 2.34 1.70 9.3 4.59 Candidate Contributions 2.15 6.1 5.58 2.09 11.4 5.65 Party Contributions 9.86 28.1 25.56 2.81 15.3 7.59 Non-Party PAC Contributions .30 .9 .78 1.97 10.7 5.32 Candidate Loans Outstanding .13 .4 .34 .24 1.3 .65 Other Loans Outstanding .13 .4 .34 .17 .9 .46 Other Receipts

Highlights

The average incumbent topped the average challenger in every source of contributions except candidate contributions and candidate loans.

The average incumbent particularly overwhelmed the average challenger in total individual contributions ($57,600 to $25,290), and non-party PAC contributions ($25,560 to $7,590). Sources of Total Adjusted Races for Candidates in Open Races -- 1976 House Campaigns (Contributions of $0-$100, $101-$499, and $500-$1,000 are Contributions of Individuals) (Figures rounded) (Loans Outstanding as of September 1977)

105 Candidates

Average/Candidate $ Million % $ Thousand

12.32 100 117.33 Total 3.76 30.5 35.80 $0-$100 1.30 10.6 12.38 $101-$499 1.63 13.2 15.52 $500-$1,000 .61 4.9 5.81 Candidate Contributions .90 7.3 8.57 Party Contributions 2.08 16.9 19.81 Non-Party PAC Contributions 1.78 14.5 16.95 Candidate Loans Outstanding .25 2 2.38 Other Loans Outstanding .015 .1 .14 Other Receipts

Highlights

The average candidate for an open seat received $63,700 total individual contributions.

Summary and Analysis of All Three Tables -- And Additional Commentary

For purposes of analyzing H.R. 1, one important statistic is unavailable: the number of individual contributors -- as distin- guished from the number and total amount of contributions. The FEC is not able to compile the number of contributors for the three categories of individual contributions: $0-$100, $101-$499, and $500-$1,000. Individuals can make several contributions to any candidate as long as their total contributions to a candidate do not exceed $1,000. It is not uncommon for a candidate's report file at the FEC to list several contributions from an individual who gives his name in different ways (for example, once his full name, another his last name with initials) and who gives different addresses for himself. The FEC computer is not able to make such distinctions.

The presidential primary matching fund program has the same kind of requirements as the proposed House program: an individual's total contributions are matched only to a certain dollar amount. Thus, in certifying matching funds in 1976, the FEC had to make sure that no candidate was seeking matching funds for a contribution by an individual who had already given the limit ($250.00). The FEC per- formed this task manually and never compiled a list of total individual contributors.

For purposes of H.R. 1, a candidate could achieve his maximum in private contributions eligible to be matched if he could find 600 contributors who would give $100 each. The three previous tables show that for the 1976 House elections, the largest percentage of total receipts for all candidates came from the combined total of the three categories of individual contributions:

Average Democrat 44.9 % of all receipts Average Republican 62.9 Average Incumbent 63.8 Average Challenger 51.1 Average Candidate for Open Seat 54.3

Yet only candidates for an open seat averaged more than $60,000 in total individual contributions ($0-$1000):

Average Democrat $44,420 Average Republican $48,670 Average Incumbent $57,600 Average Challenger $25,290 Average Candidate for Open Seat $63,700

As already stated, there is no way of counting how many in- dividual contributors are included in these amounts and what part of the total contributions of each individual contributor was be- low $100. A comparison by type of candidate for the average candi- date's receipt of contributions of $0-$100 would be similarly inconclusive.

The only conclusion possible from a survey of the 1976 elections is that no average candidate would have been able to receive the full matching payment of $60,000 and that the average challenger was particularly far from that amount while the average candidate for an open seat was the closest, followed closely by incumbents.

After individual contributions, candidates received the highest percentage of their total receipts from non-party political action committees. Incumbents led the way:

Percent of Total Average Amount

Average Democrat 26.8 $21,730 Average Republican 17.6 $13,620 Average Incumbent 28.1 $25,560 Average Challenger 15.3 $ 7,590 Average Candidate for 16.9 $19,810 Open Seat Besides these two large sources of receipts (individual and non-party PAC's), the combined total of candidate loans and candi- date contributions was significant. The average challenger and the average candidate for-an open seat particularly relied on themselves to fund their own campaigns:

Percent of Total Average Amount

Average Democrat 12.3 $ 9,960 Average Republican 6.5 $ 5,080 Average Incumbent 1.2 $ 3,120 Average Challenger 20 $ 9,910 Average Candidate for 19.4 $22,760 Open Seat

Under H.R. 1, a candidate could make no expenditure from his personal funds (whether loan or contribution) exceeding $25,000. While all "average" candidates fell under this limit, sixty-nine individual candidates (but only six incumbents) exceeded this limit in 1976:

2 Republican Incumbents 4 Democrat Incumbents 1 Independent Candidate for an Open Seat 1 Independent Challenger 8 Republican Candidates for an Open Seat 18 Republican Challengers 22 Democrat Candidates for an Open Seat 13 Democrat Challengers 9-9 m er of Candidates-whose -_ combined-loans and contributions to their own campaigrsex- ceeded $25,000

(Source: FEC Disclosure Series No. 9)

Attracting Small Contributors

For purposes of H.R. 1, the government will match up to $100 of each individual's total contributions. It is impossible to determine how many individual contributors each candidate had for the 1976 elections. The FEC has never compiled such statistics because its computer is not able to pick out individual names from candidate reports.

What kind of candidate will have the best chance of attracting enough contributors in order to qualify for the full matching pay- ment of $60,000? It can be seen from previous tables that the "average" candidate does not accumulate $60,000 in total individual contributions (contributions of $0-$1,000). Theoretically, if a candidate could attract 600 contributors willing to give $100 each, he could achieve the full $60,000 in eligible matching payments. The candidates surpassing $60,000 in small contributions of $0-$100 might be those who have the best chance of achieving the full $60,000 in $100 contributions.

For the 1976 elections, it can be seen that incumbents were the most successful in this area:

Candidates whose contributions in amounts of $0-$100 totaled between $60,000 - $80,000

18 Democratic Incumbent Winners 1 Democratic Incumbent Loser 19 Republican Incumbent Winners 0 Republican Incumbent Losers 1 Democratic Challenger Winner 1 Democratic Challenger Loser 1 Republican Challenger Winner 8 Republican Challenger Losers 5 Democratic Winners of Open Seats 2 Democratic Losers of Open Seats 2 Republican Winners of Open Seats 5 Republican Losers of Open Seats -6-3

Summary

Of the sixty-three candidates receiving between $60,000 and $80,000 in contributions of $0-$100, thirty-eight (60.3 percent) were incumbents and fourteen (22 percent) were candidates for open seats. Only eleven challengers (17.5 percent) were in this cate- gory.

Candidates whose contributions in amounts of $0-$100 totaled more than $80,000

8 Democratic Incumbent Winners 14 Republican Incumbent Winners 0 Democratic Incumbent Losers 2 Republican Incumbent Losers 0 Democratic Challenger Winners 2 Republican Challenger Winners 1 Democratic Challenger Loser 2 Republican Challenger Losers 1 Democratic Open Seat Winner 2 Republican Open Seat Winners 0 Democratic Open Seat Losers 2 Republican Open Seat Losers _4 Summary

Of the thirty-four candidates receiving more than $80,000 in contributions of $0-$100, twenty-four.(70.6 percent) were incum- bents, five (14.7 percent) were candidates for open seats, and five (14.7 percent) were challengers.

H.R. 1 and the 1976 House Elections

For the 1976 House elections, the following tables demonstrate how many candidates might have been affected by H.R. l's restric- tions. Again, it must be mentioned that the spending ceilings of H.R. 1 concern general elections only. The following candidate totals are for both primary and general elections.

Candidates who spent between $150,000-$195,000

21 Democratic Incumbent Winners 9 Republican Incumbent Winners 2 Democratic Incumbent Losers 0 Republican Incumbent Losers 1 Democratic Challenger Winner 1 Republican Challenger Winner I Democratic Challenger Loser 14 Republican Challenger Losers 6 Democratic Open Seat Winners 2 Republican Open Seat Winners 5 Democratic Open Seat Losers 4 Republican Open Seat Losers

Summary

Of the sixty-six candidates spending between $150,000 and $195,000, thirty-two C48.5 percent) were incumbents, seventeen ('25.8 percent) were challengers, and seventeen (25.8 percent)were candidates for open seats. Candidates who spent more than $195,000

5 Democratic Incumbent Winners 2 Republican Incumbent Winners 1 Democratic Incumbent Loser 2 Republican Incumbent Losers 2 Democratic Challenger Winners 1 Republican Challenger Winner 0 Democratic Challenger Losers 6 Republican Challenger Losers 4 Democratic Open Seat Winners 4 Republican Open Seat Winners 1 Democratic Open Seat Loser 1 Republican Open Seat Loser _9

Summary

Of the twenty-nine candidates spending more than $195,000, ten (34.5 percent) were incumbents, nine (31 percent) were challengers, and ten (34.5 percent) were candidates for open seats.

GENERAL ELECTION CANDIDATES FOR THE HOUSE IN 1978

Note: Statistics for the next three tables were taken from the FEC Interim Summary of January 30, 1979. Candidate averages were calculated by The Heritage Foundation. As in the tables for the 1976 elections, the candidate financial activity described here includes both primary and general elections. Since the FEC will not publish its final disclosure series on the 1978 House elections until the fall of 1979, the statistics from the Interim Summary cannot be considered final. Individual categories of expenditures are based on candidate reports through the ten-day pre-election report (October 23, 1978) only. 1978 House General Elections -- Contributions to and Expenditures on Behalf of Candidates Running in General Elections -- By Party of Candidates

Important Note: The FEC has not yet compiled contribution amounts for contributions of $0-$100. In the 1976 House elections, these contributions were 36 percent of all contributions received by all candidates.

(Figures Rounded) (Excludes independent and third-party candidates)

(Contribution amounts and averages include general and primary elections and five special elections)

To Democrats'(423 Candidates) To Republicans (384 Candidates) Average/Candidate Average/Candidate $ Million $ Thousand $ Million $ Thousand Contributions

4.42 10.44 3.64 9.47 $101-$499/Individual 5.48 12.96 4.45 11.69 $500 and up/Individual 1.14 2.68 3.43 8.93 Party Contributions 2.16 5.10 3.05 7.94 Corporate PAC's 5.65 13.35 .24 .63 Labor PAC's .34 .80 1.19 3.10 Independent PAC's .47 1.10 .12 .32 Cooperative PAC's .070 .16 .025 .07 Corp w/o Stock PAC's 3.44 8.13 4.32 11.26 Trade/Member/Health PAC's 1.11 2.62 .44 1.15 Candidate Contributions 2.99 7.07 1.67 4.35 Candidate Loans .533 1.26 .49 1.27 Other Loans

--------------------------------------------

Expenditures on Behalf of Candidates

.055 .13 .96 2.49 Party .0048 .01 .0014 .004 Independent .025 .06 .0052 .013 Internal Communications

Note: See explanatory notep at end of last table.

24

1978 House General Elections -- Contributions and Expenditures on Behalf of Candidates Running in General Elections -- A Comparison of Incumbents and Challengers

Excludes contributions of $0-$100. See note for previous table.

Excludes the 129 third-party and independent challengers because their contributions amounts were insignificant.

Contribution amounts and averages include general and primary elections and five special elections.

To Republican & Democrat To Incumbents (377 Candidates) Challengers (329 Candidates)

Average/Candidate Average/Candidate $ Million $ Thousand $ Million $ Thousand Contributions

4.53 12.01 1.62 4.92 $101-$499/Individual 4.42 11.72 2.59 7.87 $500 and up/Individual 1.92 5.09 1.56 4.73 Party Contributions 3.49 9.26 .91 2.77 Corporate PAC's 4.16 11.04 .92 2.81 Labor PAC's .50 1.33 .72 2.22 Independent PAC's .53 1.41 .015 .047 Cooperative PAC's .67 .177 .006 .019 Corp. w/o Stock PAC's 5.21 13.81 1.23 3.75 Trade/Member/Health PAC's .22 .57 1.06 3.23 Candidate Contributions .58 1.53 2.56 7.79 Candidate Loans .34 .90 .45 1.37 Other Loans

--------------------------------------------

Expenditures on Behalf of Candidates

.17 .46 .52 1.58 Party Total of $205.00 Total of $1,263.00 Independent .021 .055 .006 .018 Internal Communications

Note: See explanatory note at end of last table. 1978 House General Elections -- Contributions and Expenditures on Behalf of Candidates Running in General Elections -- Open Seats

Contribution amounts include general and primary elections.

Excludes contribution amounts of $0-$100.

Includes independent and third party candidates.

130 Candidates

Average/Candidate $ Million $ Thousand

1.91 14.69 $101-$499/Individual 2.98 22.92 $500 and up/Individual 1.19 9.15 Party Contributions .84 6.46 Corporate PAC's .81 6.23 Labor PAC's .36 2.77 Independent PAC's .056 .43 Corporate w/o Stock PAC's .023 .175 Trade/Member/Health PAC's 1.42 10.92 Candidate Contributions .298 2.29 Candidate Loans 1.62 12.46 Other Loans .233 1.79

----------------------------------------

Expenditures on Behalf of Candidates

.367 2.82 Party .0047 .037 Independent .0033 .025 Internal Communications

Notes for All Three Tables

1. Independent PAC's are not connected with any corpora- tion, labor union, or association and are normally "ideological." 2. Examples of "cooperative PAC's" are the Milk Producers, the Electric Cooperatives, and the Egg Producers.

3. Examples of "corporations without stock PAC's" are law firms and savings and loan associations. 4. "Trade/Member/Health PAC's" is a grouping of the PAC's of trade associations, membership organizations, and health organiza- tions.

5. Political party exl?end'itures' 'on, beha'lf, of- a- -candidate are different from, and in addition to, party contributions to a candidate.

6. Independent expenditures are expenditures by any in- dividual or PAC without the consultation or cooperation of the can- didate and are in addition to any contributions by an individual or PAC to a candidate.

7. Internal communications are those costs of partisan communications by a labor union to its members or a corporation to its stockholders and executive personnel and are in addition to any contributions by a corporate or labor PAC to a candidate.

Source of all statistics: FEC Interim Summary of January 30, 1979. Averages calculated by The Heritage Foundation.

Summary and Analysis of all Three Tables -- And Additional Commentary

Because the FEC has not yet compiled total contribution amounts of contributions of $0-$100, it is nearly impossible to say anything significant about combined individual contributions. A comparison of the contributions of all political action com- mittees shows incumbents leading the way as they did in 1976:

Average Amount

Average Democrat $28,640 Average Republican $23,320 Average Incumbent $37,027 Average Challenger $11,616 Average Candidate for Open Seat $26,985 (Percentages of PAC contributions to total contributions cannot be computed because of the unavailability of contributions of $0-$100)

In combined candidate contributions and loans, challengers and candidates for open seats were ahead:

Average Democrat $ 9,690 Average Republican $ 5,450 Average Incumbent $ 2,100 Average Challenger $11,020 Average Candidate for Open Seat $14,750 The FEC Interim Summary further discloses that forty-eight candidates (but only four incumbents) loaned their campaigns more than $25,000 (totals from primary and general elections combined):

3 Democrat Incumbents 1 Republican Incumbent 11 Democrat Challengers 14 Republican Challengers 13 Democrat Candidates for Open Seats 4 Republican Candidates for Open Seats 2 Independent Candidates for Open Seats 8

In addition, eleven candidates contributed more than $25,000 to their own campaigns:

1 Democrat Incumbent 4 Democrat Challengers 3 Republican Challengers 3 Democrat Candidates for Open Seats _1

DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN PRIMARY AND GENERAL ELECTION EXPENDITURES

Note: As has been stated before, FEC expenditure and receipt totals for 1976 and 1978 House general election candidates included all expenditures and receipts over a two-year period for each candi- date. Thus, financial activity for both primary and general elec- tions are included in each candidate's total.

The FEC will not publish its disclosure series of the financial activity of each candidate (total of primary and general election) until the fall of 1979. The FEC Interim Summary of January 30, 1979, used as the basis for previous tables, included House totals for all candidates.

Under current law, candidates are required to file reports of receipts and expenditures relating to each election. Thus, distinc- tions can be made between primary and general elections, especially with respect to expenditures. Money received but not expended for a primary campaign is always transferred for use in the general election campaign. But money expended in a primary campaign is reported as an expenditure distinct from general election expendi- tures.

Statistics for the followinq sections are taken from an FEC computer printout: Candidate "E" Index of Supporting Documents (updated as of February 15, 1979). Statistics in the index come from all candidate reports through December 12, 1978.

For each candidate, the Index lists separate receipts and ex- penditures for each type of campaign: primary and general election. Totals and averages for each candidate were calculated by The Heri- tage Foundation. Every effort was made to exclude "transfers," that is, money moved between different authorized committees and the principal campaign committee of each candidate.

Nevertheless, the statistics in the following sections cannot be considered to be final because of possible errors in totaling expenditures from the individual reports of each candidate (since it is not always clear where a "transfer" has occurred), and because the "E" Index itself includes only interim statistics. Final statis- tics will not be available until the FEC publishes its disclosure series on the House elections in the fall of 1979.

1978 House General Elections R6sults by Winning Percentage

Percent of Incumbent Winners Winners Defeating Victory Winners of Open Seats Incumbents Total

unopposed 64 5 69

80% and over 33 2 35

70-79% 82 2 84

60-69% 108 12 2 122

56-59% 35 11 2 48

55% and below 36 26 15 77

358 58 19 435

29

Total Expenditures by Type of Race -- 801 Major Candidates

(Figures Rounded)

Winners - $ Million Losers - $ Million

Primary General Total Primary General Total

Unopposed (69) 3.99 2.16 6.15 -- -- --

80% and over (35) 1.52 1.54 3.07 .040 .175 .22

70-79% (84) 2.89 4.48 7.37 .378 1.04 1.42

60-69% (122) 5.32 9.87 15.20 2.35 4.87 7.22

56-59% (48) 2.24 5.99 8.24 2.01 3.99 6.00

55% and below (77) 4.90 12.48 17.38 4.48 10.74 15.22

$20.86 $36.52 $57.38 $9.258 $20.815 $30.073

Summary

* All major candidates spent a total of $87.453 million, of which $57.353 million (65.5 percent) was spent in the general election, and $30.118 million (34.5 percent) was spent in primary elections.

* Winners spent 63.6 percent of their total expenditures in the general election and 36.4 percentof their total expenditures in primary elections.

* Losers spent 69.2 percentof their total expenditures in the general election and 30.8 percentof their total expenditures in primary elections.

30

Average Expenditures by Winning Percentages -- 801 Major Candidates

(Percentages in parentheses are the percentages of total average expenditures that candidates spent in the general elections)

Average $ Expenditures Average $ Expenditures

Winners Losers

Unopposed (69)

Primary $57,797 ----- General 31,270 (35%) ----- Total 89,067 -----

80% and Over (35)

Primary 43,503 1,141 General 44,137 (50%) 5,011 (81%) Total 87,640 6,152

70-79% (84)

Primary 34,421 4,499 General 53,340 (61%) 12,417 (73%) Total 87,761 16,916

60-69% (122)

Primary 43,614 19,293 General 80,937 (65%) 39,920 (67%) Total 124,551 59,213

56-59% (48)

Primary 46,710 41,953 General 124,854 (73%) 83,058 (66%) Total 171,565 125,011

55% and below (77)

Primary 63,694 53,163 General 162,035 (72%) 139,500 (71%) Total 225,729 197,663

31

Candidates for the 1978 House General Elections -- Expenditures Beyond the Limits Proposed by H.R. 1

Of the 1,078 candidates in the general elections (including all minor candidates),113 of these candidates spent more than $150,000 in their general election campaigns:

113 Total Candidates 47 Incumbents 28 Democrat Incumbents 19 Republican Incumbents 72 Winning Candidates 11 Winners Defeating Incumbents 25 Winners of Open Seats 38 Winning Incumbents

Of those 113 candidates, fifty-eight spent more than $195,000 in their general election campaigns:

58 Total Candidates 23 Incumbents 13 Democrat Incumbents 10 Republican Incumbents 4 Winners Defeating Incumbents 9 Winners of Open Seats 35 Winning Candidates 22 Winning Incumbents

Winners Defeating Incumbents

Nineteen incumbents (14 Democrats and 5 Republicans) were de- feated by challengers in the 1978 House general elections. Incumbents spent an average of $147,361 in their unsuccessful general election campaigns while the winning challengers spent an average of $160,458. In the nineteen races, eight incumbents outspent their challengers, and thus, eleven challengers outspent the incumbents. Of the thirty- eight candidates, five incumbents and four challengers spent between $150,000 and $195,000 in their campaigns. An additional three in- cumbents and seven challengers spent more than $195,000 in their campaigns.

32

The Competitive Races (55% and below) -- Candidates Exceeding the Proposed Expenditure Limits of H.R. 1 -- 77 Races -- 154 Significant Candidates

The following number of candidates spent between $150,000 and $195,000 in their general election campaigns in these competitive races:

5 Democrat Incumbent Winners 5 Democrat Incumbent Losers 2 Republican Incumbent Losers 2 Democrat Challenger Winners 2 Republican Challenger Winners 4 Republican Challenger Losers 8 Democrat Winners of Open Seats 2 Democrat Losers of Open Seats 1 Republican Winners of Open Seats 2 Republican Losers of Open Seats -53

An additional thirty-five candidates spent more than $195,000 in their general election campaigns in these competitive races:

6 Democrat Incumbent Winners 1 Democrat Incumbent Loser 2 Republican Incumbent Winners 2 Democrat Challenger Losers 1 Republican Challeng

About the Author