WASHINGTON – President Bush (search) and Democratic nominee-to-be John Kerry (search) are on track to spend nearly a half-billion dollars vying for the White House this year, making it the most expensive presidential race in history.
Bush has already reached his goal of raising a record $170 million, with more fund raising to come. His supporters believe he could easily reach $200 million or more - and that's before he gets a government grant of about $75 million in September for his general-election campaign.
Kerry has set a fund-raising (search) goal of about $105 million and is expected to take the $75 million in full public financing for the general election.
That would put presidential spending in the $455 million range - not counting the tens of millions of dollars the Democratic and Republican parties and outside groups will pour in.
The 2000 race holds the record - Bush and Democratic nominee Al Gore (search) raised about $290 million total - mostly because Bush skipped public financing and its spending limit in the primaries. Bush raised a record $106 million for the primaries while Gore took public money and was limited to about $49 million in primary spending.