Obama, Romney Both Raised $1 Billion

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 7 2012 9:43 AM

The 2012 Campaign's Ten-Figure Price Tag

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President Obama and Mitt Romney shake hands at the end of the third and final presidential debate in Boca Raton, Fla.

Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images.

President Obama became the first billion-dollar candidate in history this fall. Mitt Romney became the second.

The rival campaigns and party committees filed their final fundraising reports of the campaign cycle with the Federal Election Commission yesterday, and the sums are truly staggering. President Obama and the Democratic National Committee combined to bring in $1.123 billion. Mitt Romney and the RNC weren't far behind with $1.019 billion. As comes as little surprise, those figures made the past campaign the most expensive in U.S. history.

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And those numbers, as Politico's Ken Vogel and co. explain in their great breakdown of the reports, don't even include the heavy eleventh-hour spending from mega-donors like Las Vegas casino titan Sheldon Adelson and Chicago media mogul Fred Eychaner, who gave a total of $90 and $14 million over the course of the campaign to super PACs allied (but completely independent!, of course) with their respective candidates:

President Barack Obama’s campaign relied on smaller donors to fuel a robust ground game and summer advertising seeking to define Republican rival Mitt Romney, and then widened its fundraising advantage as the campaign reached its apex. But it was actually outspent by Romney and the big-donor-funded outside groups that supported him. They banked on larger donations to flood the airwaves in the final weeks to turn late-deciding voters against the incumbent in a backloaded strategy that left them with money in the bank at the end – typically a no-no in presidential politics.

The entire Politico piece is worth your time. You can read it here.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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