WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – In a final campaign push, President Obama’s fundraising power crushed that of opponent Mitt Romney, and allowed the president to break his own record to become the biggest fundraiser of all time.
The 2012 presidential election broke the $2 billion milestone in its final weeks, becoming the most expensive in American political history, according to the final federal finance reports released Thursday. President Obama’s campaign, Obama for America, released its report covering the last two-and-a-half weeks of the election, and revealed he raised $88 million and spent $176 million.
Republican challenger Mitt Romney raised $66 million and only spent $107 million in the same time period.
Obama’s campaign spent $723 million from April 4 up to Election Day, way ahead of the total $460 million spent by Romney’s campaign. The Washington Post reported that Obama raised nearly half his money through “small donations with aggressive solicitation programs targeting e-mail, social media and cellphone texting services.”
In the entire campaign, Obama raised $730 million for his main campaign committee in comparison to the $473 million raised by Romney. The total for the president fell only $20 million shy of the fundraising record that he set in the 2008 campaign.
The $2 billion mark was long expected to be passed after an election season that was dominated by the amplified competitive pressures that both campaigns faced during massive fundraising blitzes in expensive ad battles and ground wars. Both campaigns mobilized competing squads of extremely wealthy fundraisers, and sought aid from free-spending super PACs. Both campaigns conducted multi-million media battles.
Half of the Obama campaign’s spending between Oct. 18 and the election — $83 million — went solely to television advertising.
Obama and Romney campaigns were both already nearing $1 billion each in expenditures by late October, and super PACs supporting Obama and Romney had spent more than $500 million in media ads.
The final amount Obama raised for all of his connected committees exceeds $1.24 billion. Romney’s fundraising fell just short of $1 billion with $923 million raised for his campaign, his victory committee and the RNC since he secured the nomination in May 2012.