TV, radio, and digital ads, mailers, bumper stickers and yard signs.
A lot goes into getting the message out when running for elective office.
But wait, there is plenty more to tally up.
Campaign staff, advisers and consultants, polling, grassroots outreach, get-out-the-vote efforts, and travel – they all cost money, and it all adds up.
It even takes money to raise cash, as fundraising is far from free.
This year’s off-year elections – including the governors races in Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi, and the legislative showdowns in Virginia and New Jersey, are relatively dirt cheap compared to presidential election cycles.
There was roughly $14 billion in political spending in the 2020 election, doubling the price tag for the 2016 cycle.
The 2024 elections are expected to break records once again – with more than $10 billion forecast to be dished out on ad spending alone.