This year’s race for the White House will offer Americans a surefire economic stimulus. Presidential aspirants will spend more money than ever before – incumbent President Barack Obama alone is expected to raise about US$1 billion. The candidates will sprinkle money across every state, lining the pockets of high-priced consultants and small-business owners alike. With Obama’s record-setting 2008 expenditures as a reference, here’s a guide to how just one campaign (so go ahead and double it) might choose to spread its cash around. Election Day is on November 6.
TRAVEL: $61 MILLION
Air travel: $45 million
Commercial flights: $6 million. Many trips get booked at the last minute.
Rental Cars: $3 million motorcade: $1000/day.
Staffers rent two to five cars or vans (and recruit volunteer drivers).
STAFF: $65 MILLION
Campaign payroll: $54 million
Campaign manager: $200,000 a year.
Field organisers: $25,000 each for 18 months, not including occasional perks – housing, meals, photos with candidate.
Campaign Consultant: $150,000 per election. This can be an individual strategist – for instance, a regional fund-raising expert
ADVERTISING: $435 MILLION
Broadcast ads: $250 million
Media-strategy firm: $225 million. After buying ad time and producing spots, firms charge fees and often commissions.
● Ad time: The cost of a 30-second prime-time spot varies based on audience size. A spot on the highest-rated TV shows in New York can cost as much as $500,000.
● Producing TV ads: $15 to $20 million. Creating a single spot can cost up to $50,000.
Internet ads: $27 million. More than a third goes to Google.
Print ads: $20 million. Jewish, Spanish-language and other affinity publications offer a targeted audience.
Signs, buttons and other materials: $8 million
Temporary tattoos: $16,000 for 400,000. When ordered in bulk, they’re just 4 to 5 cents a pop.