Barack Obama literally raised more money for his campaign than he knew what to do with. He hauled in a record $750 million over the course of the campaign cycle, reports the New York Times. When the race ended, $30 million remained unspent. By comparison, John McCain raised $220 million in the primaries, about half of Obama's total, before opting for public funding in the general election.
In the last two months of the campaign, Obama outspent McCain on advertising, $170 million to $61 million. Though the Republican National Committee was tapped as a counterweight, it only added $31 million on McCain’s behalf. Obama’s leftover funds and ability to put together a huge war chest from fancy fundraisers and small donors alike pose a daunting obstacle for 2012 challengers.