We’re barely into the general election campaign and already more than $1 billion has been raised by the various candidates. That tally includes now-defunct campaigns and personal loans. Still, that’s more money than has ever been raised for an election, and we’ve got about five months to go.
A milestone in the intersection of money and politics was reached last month: more than $1 billion has been donated to candidates running for the White House.
The total, first reported by the Center for Responsive Politics, includes money that some candidates (Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney) gave to their own campaign. Nevertheless, added up, the $1,001,204,469 in cash offered to the presidential aspirants represents a historic amount of loot. In 2004, the total amount given topped out at $884 million. In 2000, it was $528 million.
But just how significant is the current haul? While the total represents more money than the GDP of at least 23 countries, it is a pittance compared to the amount spent by companies like, say, McDonald’s on corporate advertising.