Saturday, December 5

What it takes to become president of the United States. Does the person who spends the most win?



Becoming president of the United States is a very expensive adventure, only available to candidates capable of seducing people with deep pockets and wanting to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions, to their campaigns.

Field staff and aircraft, hotels and expenses associated with advertising, among others, have increased steadily in the last hundred years, but especially soared throughout the 21st century.

Related: The $ 100 million offered to Trump upon leaving the presidency

Without going any further, in the 2020 presidential campaign the outgoing president, Donald Trump, and the president-elect, Joe Biden, collectively 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.

What Lincoln spent

During your election campaign, former President Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) he had to address a completely divided society, separated, roughly, between the south that was in favor of slavery and the north, which was abolitionist.

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 a tenant in the White House has multiplied by more than 350 from Lincoln to the winner of the last election, Democrat Joe Biden, who has spent close to $ 1 billion. of dollars.

Trump, for his part, about $ 600 million.

Skyrocketing Spending 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 candidate Hillary Clinton had a budget of $ 565 million, above her 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 Sr. (1989-1993), Bill Clinton (1994-2001) and Ross Perot they spent about $ 360 million dollars adjusted for inflation, according to reports from the Federal Election Commission.

For those of 2000, the tightest in modern history, neither George W. Bush nor Al Gore, who lost due to a controversial vote recount in Florida, spent more than $ 200 million.

Related: Joe Biden Believes Trump Ruins His Own Legacy

Between those elections and 2012, the candidates’ campaign spending more than quadrupled: in 2012, former President Barack Obama spent more than $ 720 million seeking his re-election; while his Republican rival, now senator Mitt Romney, invested, unsuccessfully, about 450 million dollars.

Does the one who spend the most 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 triumphed with a budget of $ 200 million, below the 228 of Republican Bob Dole, while Ronald Reagan won in 1984 with less money than his rival, Walter Mondale.

In 2020, waiting for Trump to admit defeat, the applicant who raised the most money and spent has won the elections again.

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