Parties Reel in Campaign Contributions: GOP, as Usual, Surpasses Democrats

Article excerpt

The Democratic and Republican campaign committees are raising record amounts of cash this year as the political battle intensifies over who will control Congress and the presidency in the 2000 elections.

"Our supporters recognize that this is perhaps the most important election cycle in a generation," said Sen. Robert G. Torricelli of New Jersey, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Virginia Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said the stakes for the House GOP could not be more critical this year, with just five seats separating the GOP majority from being sent back into minority status.

The GOP's bid to hold on to majority control of the House is "the tightest it has been, probably since 1930," Mr. Davis said yesterday.

As usual, the GOP committees are outraising their Democratic counterparts by substantial margins, though both sides report much larger sums in their total combined take in the first six months of the year than they raised over the same period in the previous election cycle.

The Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have reported raising a total of $50 million though June 30.

In comparison, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have reported raising more than $70 million over this same period.

The fierce fund-raising competition is taking place at a time when the major presidential candidates are also taking in record sums, with GOP Gov. George W. Bush of Texas raising a record $37 million since Jan. 1, compared with Vice President Al Gore's $17.5 million. All told, the presidential contenders in both parties have raised more than $100 million among them this year. …