The 2020 election will be by far the most expensive campaign ever run, according to the election finance organization Center for Responsible Politics. The organization said this week that this year’s federal election will cost $14 billion, nearly double from the amount spent last year.
Spending on the presidential election alone is projected to be $6.6 billion, with over $7 billion being spent in House and Senate races.
Open Secrets says Joe Biden is set to become the first presidential candidate to ever raise $1 billion, and that figure does not include money spent by PACs.
Fueling the cost of this year’s election, billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg pumped $1.4 billion into the primary race. All told, Democrats have spent nearly $7 billion so far, which is about $3 billion more than Republicans.
A plurality of the fundraising, some 41%, comes from large donors. Small-level donors make up 22% of campaign contributions.
“Donors poured record amounts of money into the 2018 midterms, and 2020 appears to be a continuation of that trend — but magnified,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics. “Ten years ago, a billion-dollar presidential candidate would have been difficult to imagine. This cycle, we’re likely to see two.”
While individual donations are capped, funds to PACs are not. The highest-contributing individuals in this year’s election are Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, who have spent $183 billion. The Adelsons sent $75 million to pro-Trump super PAC Preserve America.
Democrats have benefited from Bloomberg’s generosity. The former presidential candidate has spent $107 million on Democrats, including $30 million to help Biden win the states of Texas and Ohio.
The Center for Responsible Politics operates the campaign finance website opensecrets.org. To review their data, click here.