SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars – more money has been pumped into the election this year than ever before.

If you were to look at the money that was spend only on the top four ballot measures in California, it would total nearly half a billion dollars.

Sacramento State political science professor Barbra O’Connor says this election brought in loads of money.

“I think the amount of money has grown like Topsy,” she said. “Every year we say it’s more money than ever before.”

The biggest spenders in the state this election have been the ones you can blame for all those ads.

“The propositions are driving a lot, and a lot of out-of-state money is coming in,” she said.

The propositions are the top spenders with Gov. Brown’s tax initiative leading the way with nearly $70 million raised,mostly from unions. Another $53 million was thrown into the pot to try and squash browns plan.

Another huge spender was the other tax initiative, Proposition 38, which had nearly $90 million dropped by both sides.

“The main driver is consultants who run campaigns and have always done it that way, and nobody is willing to stop until they get data that says it isn’t working very well,” O’Connor said.

O’Connor says in 2016, California will likely spend $1 billion on propositions and races, but it won’t all be on TV, radio and print.

“Increasingly they are starting to come into social media, so I think in the next presidential race a lot of it will go there,” she said.

Political experts will analyze social media data closely after this election season to see exactly how it was used by voters so they can better craft their campaigns the next time around.


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