The State Of Money In Politics


by SavvyRoo on Aug 9, 2015 | Views: 125 | Score: 0

Money talks, especially when the subject is politics. Money has the power to persuade, coerce, and influence the outcome of particular events, proving itself an incredibly useful tool. Over the last few years, money has become an increasingly integral part of the political arena, with the ability to outspend one's opponent becoming vital to winning elections. Do ideals still triumph in the struggle for public office, or is the winner decided by the numbers of their bottom line?

Money's Ever-Increasing Influence

Total contributions to presidential candidatesTotal spending by presidential candidates
197617100000066900000
198016190000092300000
1984202000000103600000
1988324400000210700000
1992331100000192200000
1996425700000239900000
2000528900000343100000
2004880500000717900000
200817488000001324700000
201212033000001057490000
$
Sources: statista.com

Presidential candidates need funds to win elections, simple as that. Without adequate funding, candidates are unable to buy TV ads, attend events, and promote themselves. Nevertheless, over the past few years, the amount of money being funneled to presidential elections has increased dramatically. The 2008 campaign marked the high-point for money's influence in presidential elections. That year, over 1.7 billion dollars were contributed to various campaigns, a number ten times higher than it was in 1976.

(S)He Who Spends The Most... Wins

HouseSenate
% Of Elections Where The Top Spender Won9383
Sources: opensecrets.org

Without a doubt, money gets results. During Congressional election cycles, the candidates that spend the most money outperform their opponents by leaps and bounds. In nine out of ten elections in the House and eight out of ten in the Senate, the candidate that spent the most money came out on top.

The Dark Side Of Money

Amount of dark money spent on federal elections
200011210000
20024070000
20045880000
20065170000
200869190000
2010135610000
2012308690000
2014173210000
$
Sources: opensecrets.org

Mainly starting in 2008, an incredible amount of money is being funneled to federal elections through organizations that do not disclose their donors. Often referred to as "dark money," this method of funding election bids has become both incredibly popular and very controversial in recent years, since it provides people the ability to purchase political influence without the risks of public knowledge.

A Predictor Of The Future?

Amount of money raised for the 2016 presidential election
Hillary Clinton47100000
Bernie Sanders15100000
Ted Cruz14300000
Jeb Bush11400000
Ben Carson10600000
Marco Rubio8000000
Rand Paul6900000
$
Sources: fec.gov

If political fundraising and monetary contributions are truly an indicator of success, then betting against Hillary Clinton for president would be a bad idea. Currently, she has raised about triple the amount of money in campaign funding compared to the most well-funded Republican candidate, Ted Cruz.

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