The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) predicted in its new projections released on Thursday that the total spending for the 2012 U.S. elections would exceed $6 billion, making them the costliest-ever in the history of the United States.
Earlier in the year, the CRP had projected the total spending at $5.8 billion for the 2012 elections, which incidentally was a record by itself. The previous most expensive U.S. election was the 2008 contest that cost an estimated $5.3 billion.
But CRP revised its previous estimate on Thursday to $6 billion on Thursday, implying that the elections scheduled to be held in less than a week would be costlier than the one held in 2008 by more than $700 million.
The CRP based the revised figure on the accelerated spending by outside groups in recent weeks. The Center said campaign spending by these groups rose "from $19 million per week in early September to $33 million per week in early October to $70 million during the week beginning October 21."
"This will still be the most expensive election in U.S. history. In the new campaign finance landscape post-Citizens United, we're seeing historic spending levels spurred by outside groups dominated by a small number of individuals and organizations making exceptional contributions," CRP Executive Director Sheila Krumholz told reporters on Thursday.
The 2012 presidential election, elections to the House of Representatives, elections for Governors in 13 states and territories, as well as many state and local elections are scheduled to be held on November 6. Elections to the U.S. Senate will also be held on the same date, with 33 of the 100 seats in the Senate being contested.
In its projections, CRP predicted that the overall spending for the forthcoming presidential race-- including the money invested by candidates, parties and outside groups--will amount to a total of $2.6 billion. Notably, this figure marks a slight drop when compared with the $2.8 billion spent in 2008 presidential contest.
The Center said spending in congressional races is projected to increase slightly in 2012, with House and Senate candidates spending a total of about $1.82 billion, slightly higher than the $1.81 spent in 2010.
CRP predicted that House campaign spending alone will total nearly $1.1 billion, about three percent more than that of 2010. It said spending by Senate candidates would touch $743 million, down about seven percent when compared to 2010. The Center also noted that Republicans have raised more funds than Democrats in both House and the Senate campaigns.
by RTT Staff Writer
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