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2020 election spending estimated to reach $14 billion, most expensive in history

A poll worker, left, joins with two National Guard members in tabulating an absentee ballot on April 7, 2020, in Madison, Wisconsin. (Andy Manis/Getty Images/TNS)
October 28, 2020

Spending on all 2020 election campaigns may reach a record-breaking $14 billion, according to new estimates released Wednesday.

The Center for Responsive Politics determined that the 2020 election is now the most expensive election in the nation’s history at $14 billion, surpassing the center’s previous $11 billion estimate.

2020 election spending is also twice as expensive as the 2016 election.

“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.”

The center estimates that presidential campaign spending in 2020 will be $6.6 billion, while congressional campaign spending will be $7.2 billion.

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This is much higher than the 2016 election, in which presidential campaigns spent $2.3 billion and congressional campaigns spend $4.1 billion.

As of October 14, Joe Biden had reached $938 million in campaign funds raised, and is anticipated to be the first candidate in the nation’s history to reach $1 billion raised.

President Donald Trump raised $596 million by mid-October.

Overall, Democrats are spending about twice as much as Republican this election. Democrat campaign spending is estimated to be $6.9 billion in the 2020 election, while Republican spending is estimated at $3.8 billion.

Super PACS and other national political groups are also spending significantly more this election.