There are many ways to describe the 2020 election: Contentious is one; interminable is another. But there’s a third word we need to consider too: expensive.
In fact, this year’s election is the most expensive one in the books. Where were the billions of dollars that poured into the election spent? GOBankingRates analyzed the money trail and broke down what funding went where.
How Much Money Was Spent on the Election in Total?
- Total cost of the election: $14 billion
- Presidential election spending: $6.63 billion
- Congressional election spending: $7.25 billion
- Spending by Democratic groups and candidates: $6.93 billion
- Spending by Republican groups and candidates: $3.8 billion
- Outside spending: $2.6 billion
Which Senate Races Were Most Expensive?
- Spending by candidates and outside groups on the North Carolina Senate race — The most expensive congressional race of all time: $265 million
- Spending on the Iowa Senate race — The second-most expensive congressional race of all time: $218 million
How Much Was Spent on Advertising?
- Spending by political groups on Google and Facebook ads this year: $1 billion
- Spending by Joe Biden and allies on TV ads in key states: $600 million
- Spending by Donald Trump and allies on TV ads in key states: $400 million
- Spending on TV ads in Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Arizona: $882 million
- Spending on TV ads in Florida alone — The most of any state: $257.5 million
How Much Was Spent on the Election in October?
- Outside spending in October alone: $1.2 billion
- Spending by the Biden campaign in the first half of October: $145 million
- Spending by the Trump campaign in the first half of October: $63 million
- Spending by the Democratic National Committee in the first half of October: $59 million
- Spending by the Republican National Committee in the first half of October: $43 million
More From GOBankingRates
GOBankingRates reviewed data from the Center for Responsive Politics, NPR’s Money Tracker and Advertising Analytics (analyzed and published by NPR) to break down the 2020 election’s record-setting spending. All data was collected on and up to date as of Nov. 9, 2020.