It's official: for the first time in history, a political candidate has raised $1 billion in one campaign. President Barack Obama and his Democratic affiliates have raised $1.03 billion this cycle with Romney and his Republican affiliates not far behind, according to U.S. News analysis of the final pre-Election Day fundraising filings from Thursday night.
The filings — which go through Oct. 17 — show Mitt Romney pulled in $112.4 million in the first half of October, slightly more than the billion dollar man himself, who raised $110.7 million. Team Romney has raised $961 million so far this cycle, and will likely cross the $1 billion threshold in the campaign's remaining two weeks.
In the final days, the Romney side will have $101.5 million to spend, while the Obama side will have $113 million at its disposal.
Though they've both raised unprecedented sums, each has gone about his fundraising much differently. Since the beginning, Obama has relied more on the support of small donors than Romney. Contributions of less than $200 have made up about half of the total raised by the president's campaign this cycle — with less than a quarter of Romney's coming from such small donors. Obama's biggest supporters were overwhelmingly lawyers and educators, while Romney's cash came primarily from financial industries, specifically donors from the securities, investment, and real estate sectors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Thursday's filings show the candidates won't be the only ones to reach ten digits this election. Independent groups, such as super PACs and political nonprofits, have now spent $1.05 billion altogether this cycle, according to the Sunlight Foundation. Led by the presidential super PACs, Priorities USA Action for Obama and Restore Our Future for Romney, these groups have conducted their own peripheral campaigns that have been more negative and less transparent than those of candidates.
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Seth Cline is a reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at email@example.com.