WASHINGTON (AP) - The 2012 presidential campaign has passed the $2 billion mark in fundraising, fueled by an outpouring of cash from both ordinary citizens and the wealthiest Americans hoping to influence the selection of the country's next leader.
The eye-popping figure puts the election on track to be the costliest in modern U.S. history. It comes amid a campaign finance system vastly altered by the proliferation of "super" political committees that are bankrolling a barrage of TV ads in battleground states.
Fundraising reports submitted Thursday night show that President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have brought in about $1.7 billion so far total.
Added to that: nearly $300 million in donations involving super PACs and tens of millions more going to nonprofit groups that don't have to disclose their donors.