Campaign Finance

In recent elections, a basic strategy of congressional incumbents has been to accumulate a huge war chest early, then sit on the money hoping the sheer size of the hoard would scare challengers away. This time around, candidates aren't just raising money, they're spending heavily in the early stages of the campaign. During 1993, all House and Senate candidates spent a total of $102.5 million, Federal Election Commission data show. That's up from $70.8 million in 1989, the last comparable year. Even though total fund-raising is up, candidates ended last year with $121 million on hand, down from $129 million at the end of 1989. The biggest surge has been in races for open seats, where spending ran at 10 times the 1989 pace. Republican spending edged out the Dem-

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