NPR logo Here's One Number That Makes $6 Billion In Campaign Spending Seem Low

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Here's One Number That Makes $6 Billion In Campaign Spending Seem Low

Today wraps up what is set to be the most expensive election in the history of the U.S. Total spending on federal campaigns will be about $6 billion, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This includes both official campaign spending and spending by outside groups for the presidential, House, and Senate campaigns.

This, obviously, is a lot of money — as our colleagues at It's All Politics noted yesterday, it could buy you 30 million iPhones or a year of lunches for 11 million schoolkids.

But it's worth remembering that one of the things at stake in a federal election is control of the federal budget — which is about $3.5 trillion a year. Compared with that, $6 billion is just a rounding error.

Election Spending vs. Government Spending