Often when the public hears about campaign financing we only hear about the totals raised and spent, but rarely do we learn how the money is spent. This information is readily available, even online nowadays, but few people care to dig below the surface.
Starting a campaign is much the same as starting a business, which means there are myriad expenses to cover. Campaigns need office space, sometimes more than one location. They need lots of staff, from well-paid advisor roles and different types of managers to low-paid canvassers or signature gatherers. They need consultants and lawyers. They need to advertise, and not just on television and radio and social media, but in newspapers and on billboards; digital advertising can be incredibly expensive if the campaign wants to reach a lot of people.
Polling is always done by specialized firms, and they are far from affordable. Shirts and sweatshirts are more costly than you might expect. Then there are fliers, posters, mailers and other items collectively called campaign literature. When you send out 20,000 letters at a time, printing costs and stamps add up.
How about office supplies, utility costs, internet fees and, if it’s a good campaign, things for staff like meals and healthcare? It all adds up to huge amounts of money.