Fundraising in federal races near $2 billion in 2011

Presidential and congressional candidates plus the political forces behind them raised nearly $1.9 billion last year, according to a report released today by the Federal Election Commission.

Political action committees, including the so-called Super PACs, accounted for almost a third of the amount collected, the report found.

Much of the financial haul got spent. The analysis showed candidates, their parties and the PACs spent a combined $1.3 billion in 2011.

According to a summary, the 13 presidential candidates raised $280.9 million and spent $179.4 million while the 1,218 candidates running for House and Senate seats this year took in $637.1 million and spent $299.8 million.

Political party committees reported receipts of $397.5 million and disbursements of $325.4 million while political action committees collectively raised $601.1 million and spent $499.4 million.

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