Million Dollar Members

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A few weeks ago, the Center For Responsive Politics released a report showing that winning U.S. House candidates raised an average of $1.1 million in the 2008 cycle.

Yesterday, the USA Today shed more light on the story. Here's what their analysis found:

• Fifty-five Senate candidates and 364 House candidates toppled the $1 million mark, up 63% from 1998 and 8% from last year.

• The median cost of a congressional campaign increased from under $690,000 in 1998 to just over $1 million in 2008.

• Democrats, who added 21 House and seven Senate seats to their majorities, raised 27% more campaign money than Republicans in the 2008 election cycle.

Fred Wertheimer, the president of Democracy 21 puts these big figures into perspective:

"Unlike the stock market, the cost of campaigns doesn't go up and down. It is a straight growth curve."