2012 Presidential race is most costly ever

By Tom Raum

Associated Press

Published: Friday, May 25 2012 9:45 p.m. MDT

FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Des Moines, Iowa. The Iowa magic that launched Barack Obama to the presidency four years ago has all but faded. Today, the Democrat who emerged Cinderella-like in Iowa in 2008 is sharply attacking Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s economic credentials and his ability to grasp voters’ everyday concerns.

Charles Dharapak, File, Associated Press

The battle between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney will be the most expensive presidential contest ever — by a long shot.

There are two main reasons. It's the first time both major-party candidates are declining post-Watergate federal campaign financing — and the spending limits attached. And the proliferation of super PACS is pumping untold millions into the fray on both sides.

So fasten your seat belts and prepare for a howling tempest of broadcast ads, especially if you live in a battleground state.

Obama and Romney were both coming off a week of intensive national fundraising.

Without Democratic primary opposition, Obama had a huge early advantage. But Romneyis starting to catch up as donors begin opening their wallets.

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