In a Word: Huge!

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) released the congressional fundraising numbers for the first half of this year, and not surprisingly, they are huge.

From the FEC press release: "2012 Candidates for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives reported raising a total of $285.2 million from January 1 through June 30, 2011, according to disclosure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Candidates seeking election to 33 U.S. Senate seats reported raising $103.1 million during the first six months of 2011. Candidates for the House of Representatives reported raising $182.1 million in that period."

Couple these staggering numbers with the amount of money President Obama and the other presidential candidates have raised so far (and will raise going forward), and the 2012 election cycle is poised to shatter records. And this doesn't include the ridiculous amounts of money shadowy outside groups will raise and spend influencing the election (thanks, Citizens United!) More money in our elections, less and less influence for ordinary Americans.

As Public Campaign Action Fund breaks down the numbers, updates will follow.