2012 Presidential Campaign Finance Explorer

The 2012 presidential election is on track to be the most expensive in history. Use this graphic to see where the money is coming from — and where it’s going. Updated: Dec. 7, 2012.

Democrats &
Barack Obama
RAISED
SPENT
Obama for America, DNC, Priorities USA and American Bridge 21st Century
Republicans &
Mitt Romney
RAISED
SPENT
Romney for President, Romney Victory, RNC, Restore Our Future and American Crossroads

Campaign funds raised and spent in each quarter or month

RaisedSpentRaisedSpent
million

Total raised and spent includes funds from presidential campaigns, the two national parties, joint fundraising committees and super PACs. A full list is at the bottom of this page.

Where the money comes from
The funds fueling the 2012 presidential race flow from four buckets: the Obama and Romney campaigns, the DNC and RNC, and super PACs — all of which have to file reports with the Federal Election Commission — and non-profit groups, which do not have to disclose their fundraising.
National parties

Individuals may give national parties up to $30,800 each calendar year.

The DNC has raised more money from donors giving $200 and less.
Millions

Mouse over to see the number of donations

The RNC has raised more money from donors giving $200 and less.
Millions
Presidential campaigns

Individuals may give candidates up to $2,500 per election (primary or general).

Obama's has raised more money from donors giving .
Millions
Romney's has raised more money from donors giving .
Millions
Top super PAC contributors

* and companies under his or her control

Not reported

Notes: Receipts for parties, campaigns and super PACs will not equal the totals in the graph above because some money raised by the candidates' joint fundraising committees has not been transfered into campaign and party accounts. Some funds are also raised for state parties which are not included here. In the 'Top super PAC contributors' section above, Republican figures include the American Crossroads and Restore Our Future super PACs. Democratic figures include Priorities USA Action and American Bridge 21st Century.

Where they are spending it
The candidates, national parties and super PACs spend the bulk of their campaign cash on advertising, mail, staff and fundraising. Here is a breakdown of the major categories of spending by each candidate — and the top organizations and individuals being paid.

SOURCE: Federal Election Commission, candidate campaigns, media reports. GRAPHIC: Jason Bartz, T.W. Farnam, Sisi Wei and Karen Yourish - The Washington Post. Published Sept. 25, 2012.

Organizations accounting for Obama's total raised and spent funds are: Obama for America, Obama Victory Fund, DNC, Priorities USA, American Bridge 21st Century and Swing State Victory Fund. Organizations accounting for Romney's totals raised and spent funds are: Romney for President, Romney Victory, RNC, Restore Our Future, American Crossroads and Citizens for a Working America.

Please email us us with questions or suggestions. New data is pulled as soon as the FEC releases it on the 20th of every month. Our final update for this tracker was made on Oct. 21, 2012.

An earlier version of this graphic incorrectly included donations to Winning Our Future, a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich, in the donation totals of individual super PAC donors. Those donations have been subtracted from each donor's contribution amount. Summary totals were not affected, as those totals were not counting any contributions to Winning Our Future.

Obama’s real opponent in 2012

The real fight on the airwaves is not between President Obama and Mitt Romney but rather between President Obama and a cavalcade of conservative-aligned outside groups, according to an analysis of ad buy information provided to the Fix.