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The McCain-Feingold campaign finance law has banned soft-money donations to national political parties, but that hasn’t stopped them from achieving record-breaking fundraising. According to a new Brookings Institution paper by elections expert Anthony Corrado, “the parties have altered their strategies and ended their reliance on soft money, replacing large soft-money donations with thousands of small, individual gifts.” Using direct mail, telemarketing and the internet, the Republican and Democratic national parties have increased the number of contributions they receive for $200 or less. National parties have raised $433 million in hard money alone in the 2004 election cycle, compared with $373 in combined hard and soft money at this same point in the 2000 campaign. Republicans have been more successful so far, with $288 million of hard money. Democrats have brought in $145 million. [06/07/04]