Staggering sums of money were injected into the 2020 presidential race.
Here are some of the most critical numbers to know about the money spent by the presidential candidates, and their allies, according to an Issue One analysis of campaign finance reports.
$4.9 billion: The total amount of money that was spent by all candidates and outside groups during the 2020 presidential election — the equivalent of about $22 per voter.
$2.74 billion: The total amount of money that was spent by the campaigns of President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as well as by outside groups supporting them during the general election. Biden and his allies controlled about 61% of this sum ($1.68 billion), while Trump and his allies controlled about 39% ($1.06 billion).
$1.7 billion: The total amount of money spent by the Trump and Biden campaigns. Biden’s campaign alone spent about $1.01 billion, while Trump’s campaign spent about $710 million. In other words, Biden’s campaign spent nearly $1.50 for every $1 Trump’s did.
$1.02 billion: The total amount of money spent in the general election by outside group allies of President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Pro-Biden outside groups together spent about $668 million, while pro-Trump outside groups spent about $349 million. In other words, pro-Biden groups spent nearly $2 for every $1 spent by pro-Trump groups.
$820,600: The total amount of money a single individual donor was able to donate this year to Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee that benefited Trump’s presidential campaign, the Republican National Committee, and Republican parties in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
$830,600: The total amount of money a single individual donor was able to donate this year to the Biden Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee that benefited Biden’s presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and Democratic parties in 46 states and the District of Columbia.
$82 million: The minimum amount of money that President-elect Joe Biden’s bundlers raised for his campaign, according to a voluntary disclosure that showed more than 800 individuals raised at least $100,000 to support Biden’s candidacy. Some bundlers each raised millions of dollars, so the actual total is likely far higher than the voluntary disclosure indicates. President Donald Trump did not voluntarily release any information about the more than 3,000 people who reportedly raised money for his reelection effort. Under both Democratic and Republican presidents, bundlers have been rewarded with plum positions, such as ambassadorships and positions on commissions.
$2.1 billion: The total amount of money that Democratic presidential candidates other than Joe Biden spent during the 2020 primary race. Of this sum, roughly two-thirds was spent by two billionaires who failed to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination — former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (whose campaign spent $1.03 billion through March) and hedge fund manager and environmentalist Tom Steyer (whose campaign spent $347 million through March).
$1.07 billion: The total amount that outside groups such as super PACs and dark money groups spent in the 2020 presidential race. Of this sum, around $52 million was spent in the Democratic presidential primary; the rest — $1.02 billion — was spent targeting the general election.
56%: Portion of the $1.07 billion spent by outside groups in the 2020 presidential race that was on negative ads — a total of nearly $604 million.
$668 million: The total amount that the 10 top-spending outside groups — each of which spent more than $16 million — spent in the 2020 presidential race. Of this sum, 67% was spent on negative ads. Notably, these 10 groups accounted for about 62% of all spending by non-candidate groups in the race.
$570,000: The amount of money President Donald Trump’s new leadership PAC, Save America, raised during its first two weeks of existence in November. Of that sum, 74% came from small-dollar donors giving $200 or less. Leadership PACs, originally formed by politicians making bids for leadership positions in Congress, are known today for their lax rules, which enable politicians to frequently use them to subsidize lavish lifestyles. Trump continues to aggressively solicit contributions for his Save America PAC, which must file its next mandatory campaign finance report with the FEC by January 30, 2021.