...And we're still 4 months out from the election!
But according to USA Today, total spending in this year's presidential election will only continue to grow at an historic pace:
The biggest spending is yet to come in a presidential race that could hit an eye-popping $3 billion, said Bob Biersack of the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign money. Much of it may never be fully disclosed as it flows through "social welfare" groups active in politics this year.
All this money means an advertising barrage this fall "that's going to be impossible to avoid," said Biersack, a former Federal Election Commission official. "If you live in one of the 10 or so swing states, your television is going to melt."
Presidential candidates, led by Obama, broke fundraising records in 2008 — the first contest since 1928 in which neither the sitting president nor vice president was on the ballot. The 2012 White House race, however, marks other milestones. It is first since the rise of candidate-aligned super PACs that are raising unlimited sums. It also is the first since 1972 financed entirely by private money — as both party's nominees reject taxpayer funds for the general election. By doing so, they bypass the strict spending caps imposed on politicians who take public money.
In this climate, the money chase is unrelenting.
So now that we're past the $1 billion mark, let's put this in some context...
If the candidates spent $1 billion at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take them 31 years, 259 days, 1 hour, 46 minutes and 40 seconds.