The 2012 election will not only be the most expensive election in U.S. history, the cost will tower over the next most expensive election by more than $700 million.
Earlier this year, the Center for Responsive Politics estimated that the 2012 election would cost $5.8 billion — an estimate that already made it the most expensive in history — but with less than a week to go before the election, CRP is revising the estimate upwards. According to CRPÂs new analysis of Federal Election Commission data, this election will likely cost $6 billion.
The most significant difference compared with earlier cycles is the unprecedented money being raised and spent by outside — and ostensibly independent — organizations, which we are predicting will spend more than $970 million.
"In the new campaign finance landscape post-Citizens United, we’re seeing historic spending levels spurred by outside groups dominated by a small number of individuals and organizations making exceptional contributions," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics.
Not only is the total cost of the election record breaking, but the rate at which spending has increased — and continues to increase — in the closing weeks of the election is as well. In particular, outside groups are spending furiously.Â Spending by these groups, for and against the two main presidential candidates, has grown from $19 million per week in early September to $33 million per week in early October to $70 million during the week beginning October 21.
The presidential election alone accounts for $2.6 billion of the overall $6 billion predicted cost, which is actually a decrease from 2008 when, all told, nearly $2.8 billion was directed at the presidential race. In 2012, presidential candidates along with major party committees are expected to spend about $2 billion. Outside organizations that report spending to the Federal Election Commission are predicted to spend more than $528 million to influence the presidential race. Spending by the party convention host committees and public funding for the conventions totaled $142 million.
October 31, 2012
Read the full report: http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2012/10/2012-election-spending-will-reach-6.html
Contact: Viveca Novak, 202-354-0111 (firstname.lastname@example.org)