House and Senate candidates raise $285.2 million in first half of 2011

House and Senate candidates have raised a total of $285.2 million in the first six months of 2011, the Federal Election Commission reported Wednesday.

Citing disclosure reports from the 2012 contenders, the FEC noted that House candidates raised $182.1 million from Jan. 1 though June 30, while Senate candidates raised $103.1 million.

At that pace, House and Senate candidates alone would raise over a billion dollars for this election cycle. Campaign experts expect the presidential contenders to raise a similar amount.

The amount Senate candidates reported is the highest total ever for the first six months of a non-election year, the FEC noted. It exceeds the previous high of $93.2 million raised in the first half of 2009. House candidate fundraising was up 20 percent from 2009.

For more information: The FEC made available on its website individual tables for the top 50 Senate and House members in the following categories: total receipts, contributions from individuals, PAC contributions, disbursements and cash-on-hand.

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