The election is almost over, and thanks to a combination of near-constant fundraising and outside spending, the 2012 race will go down as the most expensive election in history (until we hold the next presidential race, you can assume). Here are the eye-popping money totals behind the expansive money binge.
$6 billion The total amount spent on this election, according to an estimate by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. That's $700 million more than the previous "most expensive election" in history—2008—and includes money spent by the campaigns, outside groups, and independent organizations.
$970 million The estimated amount spent by outside groups during the 2012 cycle, according to Federal Election Commission data. "The increase has largely been driven by rapidly increased spending among 'super PACs' and outside groups that can raise unlimited amounts of money from donors," reported The New York Times' Nicholas Confessore.
$874.6 million The amount that went toward Obama's re-election this election cycle, with the Obama campaign burning through $553.2 million, the DNC spending $263.2 million, and the biggest Obama Super PACS spending $58 million.