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Money is a critical component of democratic governance across the globe. It enables individuals to participate in politics, campaigns, and other forms of public representation. Every step of political life, from the campaign period to the assumption of office by victorious candidates, is without a doubt made possible by the availability of funds. Money, on the other hand, may have a negative impact on the quality of democracy, despite its significance in politics. Money has the potential to have negative consequences for political processes as well as political institutions. For the purpose of preventing the negative influence of money on politics, regulations for funding political parties and election campaigns have been put in place. These regulations aim to ensure that both political parties and politicians remain transparent and accountable, while also promoting the democratic ideals.

Throughout this essay, you will discover reputable data that demonstrate the influence of money on politics, and more particularly in American politics.

Striking Statistics on Money in the 2020 US politics 

The following are striking statistics on money in 2020 US politics.

  • A total of 14.4 billion USD was spent in the 2020 federal US politics compared to the 2016 elections in which slightly above 6b USD was spent.
  • The amount that was spent on the 2020 presidential campaign was 5.7b USD.
  • The amount of money spent on Congress campaigns was 8.7b USD.
  • The Georgia Senate race spending was 510 million USD making it the most expensive senate race in 2020
  • Small donors contributed a total of $1.8b for Democratic candidates compared to $1.1 billion for Republican candidates.
  • The top 100 wealthy donors contributed $1.6 billion to PACs accounting for 9% of all the money contributed to financing the election.
  • Outside spending by 2276 super PACs in the US was close to $2.13 billion compared to slightly above $3.43 billion raised by the super PACs.
  • The Senate leadership fund spent 294 million USD compared to 230 million USD spent by the Senate Majority PAC.

According to the data shown above, the 2020 United States presidential election was the most costly in American history, surpassing the $7.2 billion spent in the 2016 cycle and the $7.1 billion spent in the 2012 election. This implies that the amount spent on the 2020 election was twice as much as it was in 2016. It is also undeniable that money is a significant factor in politics, and that it has the potential to have a significant impact on the result of any election. Detailed data on the role of money in American politics are discussed in more depth in the following sections.

Money Spent on the 2020 US Presidential Race

1.Biden’s campaign raised more than $1billion from donors compared to Trump’s $774 million.

(Source: OpenSecrets)

Biden collected more over $300 million USD from contributors, giving him a significant advantage over Trump throughout the election campaign. He took use of the financial advantage to bolster his efforts in the swing states, using advertisements and public gatherings to do so. If Biden’s election triumph is any indication, there is a strong correlation between winning an election and the amount of money spent on campaigns. Candidates that have more money invested in their exposure have more encounters with the public, which increases their popularity among the majority of voters.

2. Democrats spent a total of $6.9 billion in the 2020 elections compared to the Republican’s $3.8 billion.

(Source: Spectrum News)

Republican organizations and candidates spent less in the election than Democrats, who spent almost twice as much as the total amount spent by Republican organisations and candidates. The amount of money spent by political parties and its affiliates is critical in popularizing the party and its candidates. Republicans’ inability to raise sufficient funds was a notable shortcoming that allowed the Democratic candidates to gain an advantage. The result of the elections serves as unequivocal proof that the amount of money spent by political parties and candidates has a significant effect on the outcome of elections.

3. Biden spent $839,103,028 million on the media while Trump spent $544,629,408 million.

Source: (OpenSecrets)

As a result, more money was spent on media in the 2020 US election than on any other expenditure, with Trump spending 68.4 percent of his campaign funds on media and Biden spending 79.32 percent of his campaign funds on media. The pattern in spending between the two candidates demonstrates that both candidates place a high value on media coverage over all other expenditures in their campaigns. Politicians utilize the media to increase their popularity among the public. According to the data shown above, it is obvious that Biden spent more money on media outreach than Trump. The significance that both political parties place on the media is a strong indicator that the media is of vital importance in the world of politics today.

4.  1 billion USD was spent on television advertisements in the 13 states in the 2020 US election.

(Source: NPR)

Biden’s campaign spent 600 million dollars on television advertisements, while Donald Trump’s campaign spent 400 million dollars. Of the 1 billion dollars spent on television advertisements by both Republicans and Democrats, 600 million dollars went to Biden’s campaign, and 400 million dollars went to Trump’s campaign. The Democrats spent $200 million more than the Republicans throughout the election season.

5.  $882m of the $1b was spent on television advertising in 6 battle states.

(Source: KUOW)

A large portion of the money spent on television commercials was allocated to Arizona, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, among other states. In these six states, Biden and his supporters spent a total of 240 million dollars more than Trump and his followers. Trump and his supporters, on the other hand, spent much more money on television advertisements in North Carolina, where the Trump campaign spent $65.4 million compared to Biden’s campaign’s $45.4 million.

Only in North Carolina did Trump outspend Biden in terms of advertising expenditures over of the six critical battleground states. Only in Florida did Biden lose to Trump in the final results, out of the five states where he outspent Trump in terms of campaign spending. This year’s presidential election outcomes in these states demonstrate that television advertising plays an important influence in every election.

6.  Trump spent 8.98% on administration compared to Biden’s 4.03% excluding salaries for eligible employees.

(Source: OpenSecrets)

Trump spent more over $71 million on administrative expenses, including wages, during the 2020 presidential elections, compared to Biden’s expenditures of about $43 million. Biden, on the other hand, spent an additional 5.36 percent of his budget on wages, for a total of 9.41 percent spent on administration. This is equivalent to about $99 million. As a result, Biden outspent Trump on administrative expenses by about $27 million.

7.  Biden spent 3.26% on fundraising compared to Trump’s 4.97%.

(Source: OpenSecrets)

Biden spent a total of $34,480,376 on fundraising, compared to Trump’s $39,621,956 expenditure. This implies that Trump spent more over $5 million USD in fundraising costs than Biden, which is a significant difference. Regardless of the disparity in fundraising costs, Biden was able to raise a record one billion dollars for his presidential campaign, making him the first presidential contender in history to accomplish this feat. Trump, on the other hand, raised $774 million USD for his campaign, making him just the second presidential candidate in US history to do so in a single election cycle. This implies that the amount of money a candidate spends on fundraising has no effect on the number of donations that the candidate may get as a result of the fundraising. Other variables, such as party allegiance, donor interests, and a candidate’s preference, may be taken into consideration during fundraising efforts. As a consequence of the contributions, Biden and his staff were able to compete financially with Trump, which was evident throughout both of their presidential campaigns and in the election outcomes.

Which Employees donated to Trump and Biden?

These data will shed light on the political leanings of government workers working in a variety of organizations and professions, according to the authors. The figures are derived from the ActBlue and WinRed contribution systems, which together account for 57 percent of all donations to Trump and Biden.

8.  70% of the New York Police department and the US marines who gave through ActBlue and WinRed donated for Trump.

(Source: Bloomberg)

This implies that the US armed services made a greater contribution to Trump than they did to Biden. This was most likely due to the fact that Trump’s prior government had policies that they liked as compared to the promises that Biden made in their favor throughout his campaign.

9.  97% of Facebook and the University of Washington employees donated in favor of Biden ActBlue and WinRed.

(Source: Bloomberg)

This demonstrates that the vast majority of Facebook employees and university staff supported Biden over Trump. This may be due to the fact that these workers believe that the Trump administration does not have policies that are beneficial to them. Trump’s approach to dealing with the CoronaVirus epidemic may have had a role in his declining popularity among university employees, according to some reports. The fact that Biden’s wife has been a long-time educator may also have played a role in the preference that University employees had for Biden’s leadership.

10.  84% of manual workers contributed in favor of Trump through ActBlue and WinRed.

(Source: Bloomberg)

In contrast to many Biden contributors, who were mostly educators from universities and colleges, the vast majority of manual laborers favored Trump’s government over Biden’s.

11.  Only 4 percent of workers in non-profit organizations donated to Trump through WinRed and ActBlue.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Trump was favored by just a few individuals who worked for non-profit organizations, implying that Biden was preferred by 96 percent of all non-profit contributors overall. This may be a consequence of Trump’s actions as well as the connection between his previous government and the rest of the globe.

Billionaires’ Donations in the 2020 US Election

The data in this section look at how billionaires in the United States donated money to the 2020 presidential election campaign. Billionaires had a significant influence in this election by donating large sums of money in support of the candidates of their choosing.

12.  Twenty top billionaire donors spent a total of $2.3 billion in the elections.

(Source: Forbes)

The top twenty contributors spent more than twice as much money as Biden did throughout his fundraising efforts for the 2020 US presidential election. The billionaires of the United States spend enormous amounts of money on their favorite politicians in order to purchase political influence. It is in the best interests of these billionaires to have a significant amount of influence throughout the administrations of their chosen candidates. It is incredible to see the large amounts of money that wealthy people are willing to spend in order to get influence in the current administration.

13.  Of the top twenty donors, only seven contributed in favor of the democrats compared to 13 who supported the republicans.

(Source: Forbes)

In the 2020 US presidential election, just seven billionaires donors made contributions in support of Biden, compared to thirteen billionaires donors who made contributions in support of Donald Trump. These billionaires have vested personal or political interests in the outcome of the elections. During the Democratic primaries, for example, Steve, who was running against Biden, said that he wanted to be president because he wanted to address climate change and economic justice, which were two topics that were at the forefront of the 2020 election campaign. Trump’s neighbor in Palm Beach, Fla., is Perlmutter, the chairman of Marvel Entertainment, who is also a member of the Trump Organization. Linda McMahon was also a member of Trump’s cabinet in 2017, which indicates that there is some level of trust and connection between him and the president. Warren, who is among the top twenty contributors, had benefited from Trump’s favors, which included clearing the way for his oil business and appointing him to the board of directors of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Warren most likely contributed to Trump in exchange for favors.

14.  Biden received a donation from 25 percent of all American billionaires either directly or through a spouse compared to 14 percent who donated to Trump.

(Source: Forbes)

As a result, Biden got a significant amount of support from a greater number of billionaires than Trump, indicating that Biden was the presidential candidate who garnered the greatest support from the billionaires who contributed to the election. The billionaires made a $170,000 contribution in support of Biden. The majority of these billionaires’ fortunes came from the fields of technology and finance. The fact that Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook, backed Biden may possibly be a significant factor in the fact that a majority of Facebook employees contributed to Biden, as previously stated. Trump got contributions from 133 billionaires, according to Forbes, which is equal to 14 percent of all billionaires in the United States. Some of these billionaires are business associates of Trump’s, while others were staunch supporters of the Republican Party.

Small donors in the 2020 US Election

Individuals who make contributions to a political candidate of less than $200 are considered small contributors. The tendency toward small contributors in the 2020 US election represented a break from the pattern that had been in place in previous years. Small contributors are now more able than ever before to make contributions in support of their favorite candidates thanks to technological advancements. Candidates were well aware of this reality, and they spent a lot of money to reach out to these tiny contributors. The following data demonstrate how tiny contributors had an effect on the fundraising environment during the 2020 presidential election in the United States.

15.  By mid-October, small donors had contributed 1.8 million USD to federal candidates.

(Source: FollowTheMoney)

This is more than three times the amount of money raised by small contributors during the 2016 elections throughout the course of the whole campaign. During the 2020 election season, donations from small contributors amounted for 27 percent of all contributions made to candidates. This is a 6 percent increase over the previous year and an 8 percent increase over 2012.

16.  39% of Biden’s money was from small donors compared to trump’s 45%.

(Source: FollowTheMoney)

Trump collected more money from small contributors than Biden, making him the Republican presidential candidate with the greatest number of small-donor contributions ever received by a presidential candidate.

17.  Small donors accounted for 35% of the 2020 US campaign funding.

(Source: U.S. PIRG)

This is more than double the amount of money collected by political action committees and other political groups for the 2020 election. While rich contributors used to have an impact on US politics, small donations have taken over as the primary influencers in 2020. This implies that the 2020 campaigns were driven by the interests of everyday Americans, rather than the interests of a small group of rich people.

Women donors to federal and state candidates

Fundraising for political campaigns relied on contributions from a tiny proportion of women for a long time. Women, on the other hand, donated more money to their preferred candidates in 2020 than they ever had before. These figures demonstrate women’s participation in the funding of the 2020 US presidential election.

18.  Women’s fundraising share from 39 percent in 2016 to 41 percent in 2020.

(Source: FollowTheMoney)

For the presidential election in 2020, women would have donated 1.4 billion USD to their favorite candidates at the federal level, compared to 590 million USD in 2016. This was a historic contribution to the history of the United States presidential election. The data clearly demonstrates that women’s participation in politics in the nation is growing all the time.

19.  The share of women’s contributions was 45% to Democrats and 33% to Republicans.

(Source: FollowTheMoney)

Both parties saw a rise in the proportion of women’s contributions to their respective organizations, as compared to prior election cycles. Women gave more money to Democrats than they did to Republicans in the last election.

Super PACs Contributions

Super PACs are independent committees that are permitted by law to raise an unlimited amount of money and to use that money to advocate for or against political candidates in a given election cycle. They are banned from making direct contributions to political candidates, and their expenditures should not be connected to the expenditures of the politicians who are most appealing to them. The Federal Election Commission must be informed of their contributors on a monthly or semiannual basis, according on the requirements of the legislation. The data shown in this section demonstrates the participation of Super PACs in the 2020 United States presidential election.

20.  By 10th April 2021, Super PACs acknowledged receipt of $3,427,543,995 from donors.

(Source: OpenSecrets)

The contributions were sent to 2,276 super PACs that had been registered in the United States by April 2021, according to the IRS. The political action committees (PACs) spent $2,128,047,603 of the funds they received during the 2019/2020 election cycle. The vast majority of billionaires, companies, and big institutions direct their campaign contributions through political action committees (PACs) that support their favored politicians. The influence of these political action committees (PACs) on the outcome of elections cannot be overstated.


The 2020 presidential election in the United States was the most costly in the country’s history. It was also the most contested election in recent memory, with conflicting interests of groups, organizations, and individual voters on the ballot. Candidates who have more money have a distinct edge over those who have less resources. Campaigns are costly endeavors in and of itself, and candidates need a sufficient amount of funding in order to reach as many people as possible. A large portion of the funds is allocated to the media, which is then utilized to promote the candidates. Money has a significant effect not just on U.S. elections and public policy, but also on elections and public policy in all democratic nations. The amount of money spent on campaigning for a specific candidate has the potential to influence the outcome of an election. When it came to campaigning, Biden had a significant financial edge against Trump, which helped him gain ground and eventually contribute to his victory. Money has the ability to alter the political landscape of any nation, and as such, it is essential in politics.

Money also has an impact on a country’s policies since donors who contribute to a candidate’s campaign have interests and expectations about the politicians they support after they win and rise to the position of power. As a result, if money is not adequately controlled, it may pose a danger to democracy. When it comes to power broking, it is possible that a small group of people may hold the whole nation hostage if they have self-serving objectives. For example, in the section on billionaire contributors, it is apparent that the concerns that Biden addressed throughout the campaigns, such as climate change and the state of the country’s economy, were supported by one of Biden’s donors who had lost to Biden in the primaries, according to the information provided. Some of Trump’s contributors had clearly profited by the Trump administration, and they were just repaying the favor by contributing to his campaign. Wealthy contributors make contributions to favored candidates in order to exert influence over their decisions. Some make contributions in order to demonstrate their party allegiance, while others make contributions to particular candidates as a consequence of previous or current connections in business or social life. Countries should thus develop good rules and legislation in order to reduce the detrimental impacts of money on democracy and the governance of a nation following elections.


Q: What is the meaning of the term politics?

As an example, a collection of activities coordinated with collective decision-making, or other patterns of power transactions among people, which include the allocation of resources or social status, may be described as Politics (plural).

Q: What role does the Federal Election Commission play in US Politics?

Its duties include disclosing campaign finance information, enforcing the provisions of the law, such as the limits and prohibitions on political campaign contributions, and monitoring how public funds are used to support Presidential elections. The commission was established in 1974 as a result of amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act.

Q: What is the meaning of super PACs?

Answer: Super PACs (independent expenditure only political committees) are committees that are allowed to accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, labor unions, and other PACs for the purpose of financing independent expenditures and other independent political activity on behalf of candidates.

Q: What does the term Media mean?

Answer: The term “media” refers to a mix of many distinct communication methods that transmit information through broadcast and print media. The term “mass media” refers to any and all media types that are engaged in the dissemination of information to the general public, including the Internet, radio, print, and television.

Q: What does the term small-donor mean in US politics?

They are also referred to as “small-dollar contributors” in certain circles. Individuals who give modest sums of money, typically little more than $200, to help finance the campaigns of their favorite election candidates are referred to as tiny donors.



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