Campaign Costs

How are presidential candidates able to raise so much money for their election? The answer is, donations. Corporations, small businesses and individuals alike can donate to their candidate of choice. A major contributor to election funds are PAC’s, or political action committees. PAC’s collect contributions from employees (in the case of businesses) or members (in the case of labor unions or ideological groups) and donate them to the party committees and candidate election budgets. Some PAC’s – particularly among business groups – go as far as only donating to an incumbents reelection. This is in the hope that they will “get the most bang for their buck” and win favor with the incumbent when reelected (hopefully).

Sector

Total (in millions)

To Incumbents

To Challengers

To Open Seats

Agribusiness

$22.0

83%

5%

12%

Communic/Electronics

$25.0

91%

2%

7%

Construction

$15.0

79%

10%

12%

Defense

$14.0

92%

1%

7%

Energy/Nat Resource

$28.0

79%

8%

13%

Finance/Insur/RealEst

$62.0

84%

5%

11%

Health

$54.0

84%

5%

11%

Lawyers & Lobbyists

$15.0

86%

3%

11%

Transportation

$21.0

85%

5%

10%

Misc Business

$37.0

81%

7%

12%

Labor

$63.0

81%

6%

13%

Ideology/Single-Issue

$60.0

53%

24%

23%

 This graph shows the extent to which business PAC’s side with the incumbent presidential candidate. This is surprising, because most business’, especially in economic turmoil, will side with the challenger. Maybe the business is hoping that if the incumbent is re-elected, the president will side with business’ and in turn aid their programs. Who really knows though? There are so many factors taken into account when business’ donate that no one will every know exactly why business’ donate to the right, left or independent.

Each presidential election there is a significant increase in amounts donated to both republican and democratic candidates. There is an advantage to the candidate that spends the most, but there is no telling to what extent this advantage helps in winning the election. With more money, more people can see the candidates ads, the ads can appear more frequently, more posters and pins can be spread to households, more speeches can be made, more states can be visited, the list can go on and on. But if this money is spent in a lackluster manner, no amount of election funds can help the candidate.

This graph shows the steady increase in campaign costs over the election years. Some elections raised less money than others due to economic stress on citizens or business’, but overall campaign costs seem to be rising, and in the 2012 election, costs continue to rise.

http://youtu.be/kuLImQyvMf4

This video explains the costs generated so far in the 2012 election.

Campaign costs help candidates become president, but why aren’t we, the American people and business’ alike, donating our contributions to programs such as education, health care, and green energy? Billions of dollars are being donated to a president, who in the end will seek tax dollars to support these programs. We should in turn just donate to education in the first place and raise funds for the programs needed for a great nation.

Katie Gibbs

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About rowlanda12

This is a blog about the 2012 presidential election. Content is generated by students in Professor Heldman's Politics 101 class. She does not necessarily endorse the views expressed here.
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