US 2020: Cost of running an election campaign explained

US 2020: Cost of running an election campaign explained

- In the United States, like in most countries, election campaigns begin well in advance and cost billions

- However, the current COVID-19 pandemic has changed the game a little and the US elections next week are no exception

- explores how much it costs to fund an election of such vast proportions

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The United States is fast approaching its elections and the campaign trail is already blazing as Joe Biden and Donald Trump square off irrespective of the current pandemic.

A recent report has determined that the 2016 US election cost a staggering $6.5 billion (2.468 trillion) and while Covid-19 may have an effect on this figure, it is still expected that this year will still cost a substantial amount of money.

The past five elections in the country saw an average of $2 billion (N759 billion) being spent on each by presidential hopefuls aiming to secure the top spot in one of the world's most powerful countries.

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Presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters in Pennsylvania. Image: Twitter/ @realDonaldTrump
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BBC reports that over half of this immense sum usually goes towards funding media exposure including ad space and even digital marketing on social media.

Trump reportedly splurged millions to air an advert during the Superbowl earlier this year, promoting himself as the best candidate.

Staff salaries have also been noted as a major expense during these campaigns, with Hilary Clinton reported having spent nearly $85 million (N32 billion) on employees during her 2016 campaign.

Travel is another major expense with both Clinton and Trump were said to have spent $45 million (N17 billion) each touring the country during the same year.

Trump is also rumoured to have spent a staggering $3 million (N1.139 billion) on procuring caps during the 2016 election, making merchandising yet another steep bill.

While the presidential race is arguably the most exciting campaign, the nation will also be electing members of the US Congress which sees hundreds of candidates campaigning and costing an average of $4 billion (N1.5 trillion).

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Earlier, reported that before the United States tightened its borders to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, President Donald Trump had set about reshaping America’s immigration system.

Promises to crack down on illegal immigration and erect a wall along the Mexican border formed the centrepiece of his election campaign in 2016.

The Heritage Foundation, however, reported polls suggested Americans generally had a more generous view toward immigrants than Trump does.

However, opinions are divided along partisan lines and for those who lean towards Trump, immigration is a galvanising issue.

Trump's Democratic challenger in the November 3 election, former vice president Joe Biden, embraces immigration as fundamental to the national character.

According to Biden's 50-plan for American, the Democratic candidate intends to roll back immigration changes made during the Trump Administration.

This would make a Biden administration look much like the Obama administration on immigration matters as indicated on his website.

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