War Chest 2012: Presidential Ad Spending Expected to Hit $2.9B

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The 2012 presidential campaign hasn't even hit high season yet and both campaigns have already spent half a billion dollars on TV and radio ads, according to NBC News.

The total includes money spent by both campaigns, as well as outside spending by the super PACs that support them. So far, according to an NBC News/Smart Media Group Delta analysis, more than $512 million has been spent on campaign ads—about the same as was spent on advertising in the entire 2008 presidential election.

Campaign ad spending is expected to reach $2.9 billion by the end of the year, according to the International Business Times.

NBC reports that the majority of outside super PAC spending, about $9 out of every $10—in total, $205 million—is going to benefit Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

This week, the 2012 campaign experienced a "Super Tuesday" in advertising spending. According to the Washington Times, Restore Our Future's $10 million ad buy on Tuesday was followed by another $1 million buy on Wednesday, and a super PAC supporting President Obama also spent $1 million on the same day.