Primary &
General Election
Election Only
Congressional and Texas Legislative Major Party General Election Fundraising, 2001-2002

Viable challengers and open seat candidates for U.S. House and Senate seats, i.e., those who win the primary and advance to the general election, typically are more successful fundraisers than the averages in the previous slide indicate. Weak primary candidates who raise little or no money reduce the averages considerably. For major party general election contestants only:

U.S. Congressional Major Party General Election Contestants, 2001-2002
          U.S. House         U.S. Senate
Total Raised $545,677,199 (722) $320,653,336 (64)
Incumbents' Average $937,311 (389) $5,813,079 (27)
Challenger s' Average $320,427 (234) $2,744,158 (23)
Open Seat Average $1,071,546 (99) $7,184,612 (14)

Note: Number of candidates in parentheses.

In Texas legislative elections, even in an especially competitive election year such as 2002, many incumbents run without major party opposition in the primary or even in the general election and well-funded challengers are rare. In the Texas senate, 26 incumbents ran and 25 won reelection. Eighteen of the 25 faced no major party opposition in the general election. In the House 126 of 150 incumbents ran and 114 won reelection, 71 of them with no major party general election opponent. Though lack of comparable data prevents direct comparison with the U.S. House and Senate, an examination of fundraising by major party general election winners and losers in Texas provides a close approximation for incumbents and challengers.

Texas Legislative Major Party General Election Winners and Losers, 2001-2002
                Texas House*             Texas Senate
Total Raised $30,169,602 (215) $19,621,287 (43)
Winners' Average $164,431 (150) $572,101 (31)
Losers' Average $84,691 (65) $157,180 (12)

Note: Number of candidates in parentheses.

long description of tables
Source: Center for Responsive Politics; Texans for Public Justice. (full source, footnote)