If you’ve got your eye on the biggest office in the country, you may want to start saving now. The cost of running for president of the United States is one of the most expensive things you can do, having cost President Obama upwards of $750 million in 2008 and nearly $1 billion in 2012, according to Investopedia. It’s an astronomical number when you think about it, however, when you consider the cost of trying to reach, and sway every voting adult in the country, the expense begins to make some sense.

The Federal Election Commission explains that the cost of a campaign comes from a huge variety of sources, including both large and small donors, as well as organizations that fund and back candidates. Investopedia points out that in 2012, Mitt Romney’s fundraising reached more than $660 million as a joint effort between Romney himself and the Republican National Committee. When you look at the $780 million raised by the Democratic National Committee in 2012, it’s fascinating to consider that only 30 percent of that came from the DNC’s efforts. The rest all came from candidate donations and the Democratic Priorities USA.

SuperPacs, independent political committees that support a specific candidate, make up a large portion of funds as well, as they usually have a large, and sometimes unlimited supply of funds from companies, individuals and even unions. SuperPacs are total game changers in the political arena, as a Supreme Court case recently allowed these organizations unlimited spending for their preferred candidate. Plus, SuperPacs aren’t required to disclose all of their contributors. Their money makes up a large chunk of the funds raised by any candidate, though they have no say in coordinating actual political activities.

Political campaigns are a pricey endeavor, but if you’ve got the backing, the drive and the ambition, you’d be surprised at how much you can come up with. While funds don’t necessarily dictate who will win an election, they certainly do indicate how effective a candidate’s marketing campaign will, and can have a large impact on the final outcome of any election.

This article was written by Deborah Flomberg for Small Business Pulse


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