The Election's $3 Billion Price Tag

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According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, independent research group that tracks money in campaigns and elections, as of October 17, 2012, President Obama's campaign had spent $931,471,420 on the 2012 election, while Mitt Romney's campaign had spent $1,022,753,733. The candidates' spending, in conjunction with the nearly $1 billion spent by super PACs, will likely add up to $3 billion by the time the polls close today. While this seems like an absolute mountain of money, American's spent $8 billion on Halloween this year.

In 2000, Vice President Al Gore's entire presidential campaign cost $120 million, while Republican nominee George W. Bush spent approximately $185 million. This year, Mitt Romney raised $111 million in just the first two weeks of October, while President Obama raked in $90.5 million in that time. 

What have the American people gained from the 17-month, $3 billion campaign? Stephen Dubner, author and host of "Freakonomics," explains. 

Last week, The Times of London considered some interesting election-related statistics and found that out of more than 10,000 articles published about the American election, only 0.21 percent addressed the needs of the poor in the United States.

The conclusion that was drawn was that middle class people vote, seniors vote, and even the young can be persuaded to vote, but on the whole, the poor don't vote. The Takeaway talks with Tavis Smiley, the host of The Tavis Smiley Show about the scant attention paid to the 15 percent of the electorate who are classified as poor.