Here's the breakdown: Between Jan. 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012, the 1,614 candidates running for House and Senate seats reported raising $884.6 million and spending $453.5 million.
Compare those numbers to 2010, when 161 more candidates ran for office and the amount raised totaled $ 857.5 million. That was a seminal year in political fundraising, with the birth of the super PAC contributing to the rapid rise in campaign contributions. In 2008, campaigns raised just $685.9 million.
Much of the increase in 2012 can be attributed to House candidates, who raised $325.6 million, compared to $297.3 million in 2010. Meanwhile, Senate candidates saw their fundraising figures decrease by $11 million in 2012.