Candidates, parties, political action committees and other outside groups spent more than $7 billion on the 2012 election, according to a final tally by the Federal Election Commission. That’s the most ever spent on U.S. elections, and surpasses the $5.3 billion spent in 2008.
The presidential candidates spent $1.4 billion while congressional candidates spent $1.8 billion. Political action committees, fueled by the rise of super-PACs that could take in unlimited donations, spent another $2.2 billion.
President Barack Obama and his allies and Republican nominee Mitt Romney and his allies each spent more than $1 billion on the race.