It should come as no surprise – especially if you live in Ohio – that presidential campaign spending has reached record levels. The campaigns for President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney spent a combined total of more than $2 billion on advertising, according to data from the Fedeal Election Commission. In fact, since the election that pitted George W. Bush against Al Gore, spending per voter has more than doubled, from $18 in 2000 to an estimated $42 this year. Obama and Romney have spent more than $30 per second this campaign election cycle.
Maybe more amazing is that more than one million TV ads have been aired this election year, 39 percent more than 2008. Between April, when Romney clinched his Republican primary victory, and Oct. 28, there were 1,086,162 ads aired in the presidential race, with Democrats financing 568,269 compared with 517,893 backed by pro-Romney forces, according to New York- based Kantar Media’s CMAG.
Estimates of total campaign spending that include congressional campaigns and other elections will push total spending over $6 billion this year.
Obama for America, President Obama’s official campaign committee, spent more than $72 million in Ohio alone. That’s nearly 40 percent more than Mitt Romney’s official campaign committee spent in the Buckeye State.
However, total spending for Romney in Ohio exceeded total spending for Obama. The Republican National Committee spent $10 million in Ohio while PACs Crossroads GPS and American Crossroads spent $10 million and $16 million, respectively supporting Romney. Priorities USA, the super PAC supporting President Obama spent $16 million in Ohio.
The totals for the two candidates in Ohio, including super PAC spending: President Obama $91 million; Governor Romney $99 million.
In Virginia, the Obama campaign has outspent the Romney campaign $52 million to $33 million. But total spending including the super PACs has Romney spending at $82 million and Obama spending at $66 million.
California’s Proposition 37, a ballot initiative that proposes mandatory GMO foods labels, has generated advertising spending totaling more than $32 million. Companies and groups opposing the GMO labels on foods have spent more than $29 million, while supporters of GMO labeling have spent just $2.9 million.