Election 2012: The $1 Billion USA Presidential Campaign

This year’s presidential campaigns are on pace to reach a $1 billion in spending, their latest reports to the Federal Election Commission reveal.

The potential ten-figure total does not even count what the Democratic or Republican parties or independent groups like “super PACs” are spending on the race.

Outside groups are closing on $300 million in expenditures in the presidential general election, according to political watchdog groups, with the main pro-Romney super PAC responsible for a third of that amount.

Together, the campaign committees for President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney raised a combined $915 million and spent a combined $756 million by the end of last month, the latest FEC reports filed on Saturday’s monthly deadline show.

Through September, the Obama 2012 campaign had raised a total of $558 million and had spent a total of $462 million, while the Romney 2012 campaign had raised $357 million and had spent $294 million, the reports said.

Obama For America continues to outpace Romney For President in fundraising, spending, and cash on hand. However, pro-Romney and anti-Obama spending by super PACs and other independent groups erase that disadvantage.

Outside spending on the presidential race has favored Romney over Obama by more than two to one, according to the Sunlight Foundation, which found pro-Romney advocacy since he clinched the Republican nomination has totaled $202 million, while pro-Obama spending was $79 million during the same period, a $113 million difference.

The Obama campaign raised $126 million in September, $48 million more than the $78 million raised by the Romney campaign last month, and spent $116 million, or $61 million more than the $65 million spent by the Romney campaign.

The Obama campaign entered October with $99 million cash on hand, which is $36 million more than the $63 million the Romney campaign reported in cash on hand entering October.

Each campaign reported relatively small debts — $2.6 million by the Obama campaign, and $5 million by the Romney campaign.

The totals raised by the Obama and Romney campaigns, just $85 million shy of a combined $1 billion, do not reflect fundraising activity by the campaigns during the first three weeks of October.

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