The 2020 presidential and congressional elections are the most expensive in history. According to FEC records collected by Opensecrets.org, a total of almost 11 billion U.S dollars in spending for the election cycle had been filed as of October 25. A large chunk of this spending can be chalked up to the large (and wealthy) field in the Democratic primary, which included deep-pocketed billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer. The primary field (not counting the Biden campaign) spent more than $2 billion this election cycle. More expenditures came from the parties and outside groups. As seen in our graphic, the party of the incumbent president traditionally spends less for the respective election cycles because of less money spent in the primaries.
During the 2016 cycle, spending hit 7.2 billion (adjusted for inflation). Expenditures are expected to increase sharply before election day and a filing backlog means that the books will be closed only on Dec 31. Disregarding primary spending, Democrats are still ahead this season, having spent almost $5 billion compared to the Republicans' $4 billion.