US election 2012 spending tops $2bn

2012-12-07 12:01
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Washington - Republican Mitt Romney raised $85.9m in the final weeks of the White House race, his campaign said on Thursday, bringing the total spent on the presidential election to a record $2bn.

"Romney Victory continued its strong fundraising through the final weeks of the campaign," finance chairperson Spencer Zwick said in a statement.

The campaign said Thursday's filing with the Federal Election Commission showed the campaign has about $24.4m in cash on hand, "but that number does not take into account spending currently in process".

The Romney campaign is processing pre-election invoices and forecasts it will have less than $1m by the end of the year.

Zwick described the fundraising effort as "the most successful in Republican Party history", despite Obama eventually winning the election by more than 3% of the vote.

More than 91% of donations during the final period were $250 or less, and the campaign raised some $28m from contributions under $250.

Record-breaker

Team Romney's figures combine the fundraising of his campaign and that of the Republican National Committee.

The 2012 campaign was a fundraising record-breaker by all accounts.

According to campaign funds-tracking website Open Secrets, the two candidates, as well as unaffiliated outside groups, raked in a total of $1.96bn as of 17 October. Thursday's filing pushes that to $2.05bn.

The Obama re-election campaign out-raised Romney's campaign by $632m to $389m prior to Thursday, according to the Centre for Responsive Politics, operator of Open Secrets.

But outside groups supporting Romney raised $413m compared to just $131m raised by outside groups backing the president.

One of the pro-Romney super PACs, or political action committees, Restore Our Future, raised $22m from 18 October to election day on 6 November, according to Open Secrets.

Last-minute funds

It said the largest last-minute donation to the group, an amount of $10m, came from Sheldon Adelson, the casino billionaire who pumped a reported $150m in total into super PACs and other groups to help Republican candidates in the 2012 elections.

Restore Our Future's cascade of last-minute funds - including $3m from Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison - helped pay for a $41.6m advertising blitz in the campaign's ill-fated final weeks.

Official details on how money was spent by both parties during the period of 18 October to 26 November must be filed by Thursday's midnight deadline. Obama numbers had yet to be released.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  mitt romney  |  us  |  us elections 2012
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