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Total 2020 election spending to hit nearly $14 billion, more than double 2016’s sum

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (L) and President Donald Trump.

Kevin Lemarque | Reuters

Spending in the 2020 election was already on track to break a record. Now, the total is poised to be even bigger than the initially projected $10.8 billion.

The amount spent on both the presidential and congressional campaigns will hit nearly $14 billion, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

That is more than double what was spent in the 2016 election, according to an updated CRP report. This election will end up with more spending than the previous two presidential election cycles combined. 

By Election Day, next Tuesday, the presidential campaign is expected to end up seeing $6.6 billion in total spending, while congressional races are anticipated to finish with just over $7 billion.

Democrats have nearly doubled the spending by Republican candidates up and down the ballot. Democratic contenders are going into the final week of the election spending $6.9 billion while Republicans have put in $3.8 billion into the 2020 fight.

CRP changed its estimate from $10.8 billion to nearly $14 billion due in part to the huge amount of fundraising in the final months of the election.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is on track to be the first candidate in U.S. history to end up raising $1 billion in a single election cycle, CRP said. President Donald Trump’s campaign for reelection said that Trump raised north of $950 million during the 2020 election. Those totals do not include how much was raised by either the Democratic National Committee or the Republican National Committee.

The top 10 donors so far this cycle have contributed over $640 million, with most going to outside groups such as super PACs, which can raise and spend an unlimited amount of money. Some of the top donors include casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam; billionaires Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer; and Tim Mellon, the chairman of Pan Am Systems.

The new data shows that employees in certain industries, including those on Wall Street, have largely flipped to Democrats.

While CRP notes that Biden’s campaign is powered in part by small dollar donors, it has seen a significant boost from executives in the securities and investment industry.

Biden finished the 2020 election cycle with over $74 million from people on Wall Street, compared to Trump, who received $18 million from those in the same industry.

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