WASHINGTON (Agencies) - In a presidential race filled with broken barriers, money has shattered far more than its share. Together, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain have amassed nearly $1b - a stratospheric number. Depending on turnout, that means nearly $8 for every presidential vote, compared with $5.50 in 2004. Using all that cash, the candidates have travelled more miles, employed more workers and advertised more than ever. But it has been Obama, with his $641m and 3.2m donors, who has rewritten the rules for financing campaigns. He abandoned the public financing system - after pledging to participate if McCain did - and became the first major party candidate to raise private funds to pay for a general election since the campaign money reforms of the Watergate era. McCain did take public funds, but Obama's success left little doubt that taxpayer-supported presidential campaigns, as currently configured, are 20th century relics. Neither Obama nor McCain participated in public financing during the primaries. McCain's acceptance of $84 million in general election public financing also came with limitations on spending. He continued to raise money for the Republican Party, though, which so far has spent about $100 million on his behalf to supplement his public funds. Obama mastered new technology, turning the Internet into an incredible political networking tool and attracting record numbers of donors giving less than $200. While that flood of money raised new questions about the safeguards of Internet fundraising, it also helped dilute the role of big money donors and fundraisers. "When you have that many contributors, I think it does, in a weird way, cleanse the system even though it seems like that much more money," the Federal Election Commission chairman, Republican Donald F. McGahn II, said recently. "That many more contributors disperse the influence of any one contributor." Some of the financial highlights from the presidential campaign: Too much to put under the mattress: All the presidential candidates in the 2007-2008 contest took in $1.55 billion, nearly twice the amount collected by candidates in 2004 and three times the amount from 2000. The total includes fundraising for the primaries as well as the general election. The total is almost the same as what the Federal Trade Commission says food and beverage companies spend in a year marketing their products to children. Selling politics like burgers: With all that money, Obama has blanketed the country with his message. As of mid-October, he had spent $240 million on broadcast ads to penetrate old battlegrounds and to help create new ones. He spent $77 million in the first two weeks of October, more than McDonald's spends on ads in a month. He pinpointed audiences with ads on such video games as "Guitar Hero" and "Madden NFL 09." He also went global, with national network advertising that culminated with a $4 million-plus half hour buy on prime time six days before the election. His spending stretched McCain's resources; the Republican had spent about $116 million as of mid-October. Bad apple, bad money: Some fundraisers put campaigns in awkward situations. Barack Obama donated to charity tens of thousands of dollars in donations to his past campaigns that were linked to convicted Chicago developer Antoin "Tony" Rezko. Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton returned more than $800,000 to donors whose contributions were linked to Norman Hsu, a fundraiser who was wanted in California on charges of bilking investors. Hsu was subsequently indicted in New York on federal charges of fraud and violating campaign finance laws. Bundle up some cold hard cash: Perfecting a fundraising practice initially mastered by George W. Bush, presidential candidates enlisted fundraisers to raise thousands upon thousands of dollars for them. These are the well-connected money people to whom a campaign is ultimately indebted. Both McCain and Obama list their fundraisers - or bundlers, as they are known - on their Web sites. McCain's are easier to find than Obama's. But unlike McCain, Obama lists the fundraisers' home towns. Who are those small donors, anyway: Obama has raised about half of his money in increments of $200 or less. The average contribution is $86, the campaign says. But the success of the Internet fundraising effort has also led to some puzzling donors. Individuals have been credited with giving tens of thousands of dollars to the Obama campaign, far more than the $2,300 limit. Obama has reported more than $17,000 in contributions from a donor identified as "Doodad Pro" and more than $11,000 from one identified as "Good Will." "I wouldn't be surprised if the FEC doesn't address this in the next couple of years - what you have to put on your Web site for soliciting contributions," said Bradley A. Smith, a former FEC chairman and a law professor at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio.