Since the start of the general-election campaign, the two sides have spent an incredible $1,057,276,151 on television advertising. That's nearly half a billion dollars more than was spent during the 2008 general election, according to a Hotline analysis of advertising-spending data.Republicans are outspending Democrats in all 14 states that are seeing presidential advertisements this week. Romney backers have a $3.5 million advantage in Ohio, nearly a $4 million advantage in Virginia and Florida, and more than $2 million edges in Nevada and Wisconsin this week alone. All told, Republicans and Romney's campaign are spending a combined $80 million this week, compared with just $50 million on Obama's side.
That extra Republican spending has been the story of the cycle. Though the Obama campaign has spent far more than Romney's campaign — $379 million to $218 million — the Republican outside groups have more than made up the difference. American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies alone have spent $160 million on television advertisements, while the Romney super PAC Restore Our Future has added another $86 million.The Republican National Committee, once mired in nearly $25 million in debt, has rebounded to spend an impressive $36 million on independent expenditures boosting Romney. Americans for Prosperity, the conservative organization run by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, has spent an additional $48 million on the race.All told, Republicans have combined to spend $605 million on television advertising, the data show. Democrats and Obama's campaign have combined to spend $452 million on their own paid media.