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That year-long slog from the GOP primary to Election Day last November required a lot of money, according to officials at the Federal Election Commission, who told reporters today that the recent presidential election cost approximately $7 billion. That includes the money spent by candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney (who, together, spent $3.2 billion), the two major political parties, and Super PACs like Priorities USA and Restore Our Future who purchased TV ads on behalf of either candidate.

For comparison: $7 billion — for one election, in America — exceeds the GDP of Kosovo, a nation of over 1.7 million people. Still, the numbers didn't really impress the FEC:

"That's not really unusual. [Campaign expenditures are] all record breaking," FEC chairwoman Ellen Weintraub said during the panel's meeting Thursday.

Such cynicism! Weintraub also indicated that the 2012 election — the first presidential election to follow guidelines set by the landmark Supreme Court decision, Citizen United vs. Federal Election Commission — may have been the first in which SuperPACs, which don't have to disclose donor information, spent more than the official campaigns.

 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.