To illustrate the point, the center posted a photo of soaring rocket on its website.
The reason that this election towers over all previous ones? Well, you've heard of Citizens United, right?
"In the new campaign finance landscape post-Citizens United, we're seeing historic spending levels spurred by outside groups dominated by a small number of individuals and organizations making exceptional contributions," said the center's Executive Director Sheila Krumholz in an online statement.
Here's how the spending breaks down:
The presidential election alone accounts for $2.6 billion, which is actually a decrease from 2008 when, all told, nearly $2.8 billion was directed at the presidential race. In 2012, presidential candidates along with major party committees are expected to spend about $2 billion. Outside organizations that report spending to the Federal Election Commission are predicted to spend more than $528 million to influence the presidential race. Spending by the party convention host committees and public funding for the conventions totaled $142 million.Spending in congressional races is projected to increase slightly in 2012. House and Senate candidates combined will spend about $1.82 billion, up from $1.81 in 2010. House campaign spending alone will total nearly $1.1 billion, a slight increase of 3 percent more over 2010. In the Senate, spending by candidates will approach $743 million, which is down about 7 percent compared to 2010.
Read more of the center's report here.