The Real Cost of a Presidential Campaign

By Kirsten Salyer - 2012-03-06T16:55:54Z

Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Direct Mail

A now-expired online offer of a free Barack Obama bumper sticker wasn't free for his campaign, which covered the costs of the merchandise and mailing and got supporters' addresses in return. Campaigns have spent $18.6 million in fundraising direct mail and telemarketing, which includes the cost of sending flyers. As of Jan. 31, another $16 million went for postage and shipping services.