Home > B2, Learning > Money’s Influence on Elections

Money’s Influence on Elections

Money’s influence on the election process has increased due to social media and the availability of advertisements for campaigning. In the 60’s it was common for a successful House candidate to spend less than 100,000, but by 2008, the average cost of winning a seat in the House topped 1.4 million. Buying advertisements has been the primary resource for spending money to reach out and influence voters, so the person with the most advertisements and the most successful ads, will have the greatest touch on the voters opinion.

In our work in government class we discussed the pros and cons of the influence of the money in politics. The amount of money being spent for each candidate increases every election with few exceptions. Most would say that the increasing influence of money is a great thing because it allows for more to be informed of the views of the politicians, but I would say it is a disadvantage.

Government has tried to control the raging flow of money in elections by limiting candidates to amounts of money they are allowed to spend. This isn’t such a bad idea because of the downsides of allowing the rich to spend as much they want to get their voiced opinions out to the public, giving the poor a lesser chance of winning power. If a rich man was allowed to spend all of his money, he would have access to more of the public and have more of an advantage over the poor man. Since the man with the less money has insufficient funds to spend on advertisements, he must work harder to have any voice at all in his efforts to campaign.

In the senate and house, the money plays a major role in who is elected or reelected. When an incumbent, someone running for reelection, is in the race for reelection, they have an an advantage in raising money for their campaign. The challengers raise about half the amount of money the incumbent did in total, and there are fewer incumbents then there are challengers. The trust built or lost in the incumbent’s influences the amount of money they are able to raise and if there is a sufficient amount of money raised then their reelection is pretty much guaranteed.

The 2008 Presidential election was predicted to be the “1-billion dollar election”. It was also thought to be the most expensive and longest election in American history. The candidate with the most money was guaranteed presidency. Barack Obama spent more than 747.8 million dollars in his campaigning, which happened to be 400 million dollars more than his leading competitor, John McCain. The reason for the vast amount of spending was because it was the first open seat in this generation, because of the state of the economy and the war in Iraq. The candidates that had no shot at presidency were the candidates with little money to spend in comparison to the leading competitors

  1. govellisc
    May 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    some gramatical errors and run on sentences, run through the reflection with a fine toothed comb in Word and it will be perfect. Great arguement!

  2. jeffqb2
    May 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I think this is a good argument! you kept talking about an “incumbent” I think you should of elaborated on what exactly you were meaning by that. Also you only added one hyperlink for Barack Obama i think you should of added more on where you gained your facts from.

  3. blaker13
    May 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    I think you did a solid job explaining your argument, but like jeff I’m a little confused with what “incumbent” means. Overall you did a great job.

  4. May 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm


    In paragraph 4, you write: “money plays a major role in who is elected or reelected” – I’d love to see you dig deeper and offer evidence to support this point-of-view…

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