The 2020 U.S. election was the most expensive in history, totaling $14 billion. That's double what was spent in the 2016 election. More than $7.2 billion went to congressional campaigns, while donors gave over $6.6 billion on the presidential candidates.
It's been 10 years since the landmark Supreme Court case Citizens United vs the FEC. The decision said the government could not restrict campaign donations by corporations, unions, nonprofits and other associations.
Democrats outspent Republicans in the 2020 cycle, spending $6.9 billion through mid-October compared to $3.8 billion by Republicans.
Overall, small donors giving less than $200 accounted for 22 percent of the total, up from 15 percent in 2016. The majority of donations came from big individual donors, such as casino owner Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and hedge fund manager Tom Steyer.
Of the money raised, 53 percent went to media campaigns. Political groups spent over $1 billion advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google.
The total cost of the 2020 election will nearly reach an unprecedented $14 billion, making it the most expensive election in history by far.