Become United States’s president It is a very expensive adventure, only available to candidates capable of seducing people with very deep pockets and wanting to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to your campaigns.
Field personnel and aircraft, hotels and expenses associated with advertising, among others, have increased steadily over the last hundred years, but especially soaring throughout the 21st century.
Without going any further, in the 2020 presidential campaign the outgoing president, Donald Trump, and the president-elect, Joe Biden, jointly raised a total of $ 1.6 billion, according to data from the Center for a Reactive Policy.
This analysis takes into account what was spent by the campaigns themselves, not by the Political Action Committees (PAC) or other support groups.
Lincoln spent $ 2.8 million
During his election campaign, former President Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) had to address a completely divided society, separated, roughly, between the pro-slavery South and the abolitionist North. And he did it by spending $ 2.8 million, according to one of his biographies.
Taking inflation into account, the amount of money it takes to be the tenant of the White House has multiplied by more than 350 from Lincoln to the winner of the last elections, the Democrat Joe Biden, who has spent about 1 billion of dollars. Trump, for his part, about 600 million.
Spending soars in the 21st century
Despite the pandemic, which has severely limited public appearances on the ground, the expenses of both campaigns have far exceeded those registered in 2016.
In that battle, Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton had a budget of $ 565 million, above his rival, Trump, with 322 million consumed, according to data from the Open Secrets platform. This trend has steadily increased in recent years.
In 1992, the combined campaigns of George Bush father (1989-1993), Bill Clinton (1994-2001) and Ross Perot they spent about $ 360 million adjusted for inflation, according to reports from the Federal Election Commission.
For those of 2000, the tightest in modern history, nor George W. Bush (2001-2009) ni Al Gore, who lost to a controversial vote recount in Florida, spent more than $ 200 million.
Between those elections and 2012, the campaign spending of the candidates multiplied by more than four: in 2012, former president Barack Obama (2009-2017) spent more than 720 million to seek his re-election; while his Republican rival, the now senator Mitt Romney, invested, unsuccessfully, about 450 million dollars.
Does the highest spender always win?
Generally, the amount of money spent by each candidate is a good indicator of who will win the election.
In recent decades, however, the applicant who invested the least has won on a few occasions. Without going any further, in those of 2016, Trump beat Hillary Clinton with less spending.
But there are other cases: in 1996, Bill Clinton he triumphed with a budget of $ 200 million, down from Republican Bob Dole’s $ 228 million, while Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) won in 1984 with less money than his rival, Walter Mondale.
In 2020, waiting for Trump to admit defeat, the candidate who raised and spent the most money has won the election again.
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