The country's two political parties saw an uptick in donations this election cycle, with Democrats enjoying a 22 percent fundraising edge over Republicans ahead of next year's election, new federal data show.
Democratic committees, including the party's national, congressional and Senate panels, raised more than $128 million during the first seven months of this year. That compares with Republicans' $105 million in contributions as GOP leaders try to counter the cash flow supporting President Barack Obama's bid for a second term.
All told, both state and national party committees received $242 million since Jan. 1, an increase of $17 million during the same period in 2009 when adjusting for inflation, Federal Election Commission figures show.
While Democrats may have an edge in party fundraising, the figures don't include big dollars from new outside "super" political action committees, including the GOP-leaning American Crossroads. Crossroads and its sister group Crossroads GPS have raised $25 million in combined donations this year.
"Fundraising for both Crossroads groups has been robust so far in 2011, driven by the sense there's a growing opportunity to move the country in a new direction," said Steven Law, president and CEO of both groups. "We feel very confident about reaching our $120 million goal."
The new FEC figures also suggest a shift in priorities among political donors, with state and local party committees losing more than $8 million in donations this cycle compared to last. Meanwhile, the Republican and Democratic national committees raised more than $95 million this year.
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