Estimated $14B 2020 election cost sets record

Campaign spending exceeds the cost for the two previous presidential elections combined

The total cost of the 2020 election will nearly hit an unprecedented $14 billion, making it the most expensive election in history and twice as expensive as the 2016 presidential cycle, according to a new estimate from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

In fact, this year’s election spending is more than the previous two presidential election cycles combined.

The estimates are up from its previous prediction that the federal election would reach nearly $11 billion in total spending. But center says “an extraordinary influx of political donations in the final months — driven by a Supreme Court battle and closely watched races for the White House and Senate — pushed total spending past that $11 billion figure with weeks to go before Election Day.”

Democratic nominee Joe Biden shattered records with $1 billion in fundraising, while President Trump brought in $596 million.

Biden had several billionaire donors in his corner, including former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and philanthropist Tom Steyer, who began pouring spending to help boost Biden's campaign after unsuccessful presidential runs themselves this year.

The two former Democratic candidates spent a combined $1.4 billion, while additional groups and supporters spent $5.5 billion. Meanwhile, Republicans spent $3.8 billion.

Small donors skyrocketed, with 22% of the total fundraising contributing to Democratic coffers by $1.7 billion, benefiting even the party's most progressive candidates, who have shirked corporate PAC donations. Meanwhile, Republicans raked in $1 billion from the $200-or-less donations.

A surge in women donors and contributions to races outside of a donor's state, also boosted key congressional races for Democrats, in swing states such as Arizona, North Carolina and Iowa.

“Donors poured record amounts of money into the 2018 midterms, and 2020 appears to be a continuation of that trend — but magnified,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics. “Ten years ago, a billion-dollar presidential candidate would have been difficult to imagine. This cycle, we’re likely to see two.”


Fox News' Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.