The 2020 U.S. election is likely to cost nearly $11 billion, making it by far the most expensive election in U.S. history, according to projections by a leading campaign finance watchdog.
In a report released Thursday, the Center for Responsive Politics projected the cost of the 2020 presidential and congressional races at $10.8 billion, or more than 50% costlier than the 2016 election when adjusted for inflation.
The CRP’s projection is based on spending so far this campaign cycle and additional spending that is likely to occur in the final month leading up to the November 3 election. Thus far, Democrats hold a huge spending edge over Republicans in both presidential and congressional races, accounting for 54% of total spending to Republicans’ 39%, according to the CRP.
“The 2018 election smashed fundraising records for midterms, and 2020 is going to absolutely crush anything we’ve ever seen — or imagined — before,” Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, said in a statement.
The race for the White House between President Donald Trump and former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden is projected to cost $5.2 billion, more than double what the presidential race cost in 2016. The rest of the projected $10.8 billion is for hundreds of congressional races.
So far this cycle, presidential and congressional candidates have spent $7.2 billion, a figure that will likely jump as congressional candidates report their third-quarter spending figures, according to the center.
“This is no ordinary election, however, and late influxes of campaign cash could push the final total even higher,” the CRP said.