The Center for Responsive Politics has projected this year’s federal election was the most expensive election in the nation’s history.
This cycle the Center estimated that candidates, parties and outside groups spent nearly 6.6 billion dollars. When adjusted for inflation, this was 86 million more dollars than was spent during the last presidential election cycle.
The good news appears to be that more of this year’s money came from small donors. The other good news is that the amount of dark money spent during the campaign this year was down. Dark money is money from entities that do not disclose their donors. To date only $132 million has been spent by dark money entities compared to $232 million spent in 2012.
Although dark money spending was down in legislative races, the decline in dark money spending was most apparent in this year’s presidential race— as of October 24, dark money groups had spent only $48 million in the presidential race compared to the approximate $95 million spent in the 2012 presidential race.