4/12/2007

2008 Fundraising

2008 Fundraising.

A recent article in New York Times dated April 4, 2007, indicated that fundraising was more than four times higher than this same time period in the 2003 political campaigns. “The staggering sums are an indication that the American people want a conversation.” I disagree. Most of the money comes from big businesses who want a politician in their pocket. The majority of the American’s care but not enough to separate cash from their wallets to help the campaign member of their choice. I believe that this is supported by the lack of news the younger generation absorbs (recent reports indicated newspaper sales and T.V. news viewing are down; understandably they may be getting their news from the internet but I could find no statistics to back that claim) and by the numbers at the polls. Also, this same article clearly states that Obama’s money comes from selling a personal story in two best-selling books. This early in the race the different parties just use the amount of money generated to signal to the media that they are more wanted by the American public then the party with lower funds. Which is not necessarily the case, especially this early in the race.

3 comments:

Hunter said...

I agree that a party is not necessarily better or stronger because they can throw more money at things. When Kennedy was elected president, he won very late in the elections because of his ability to out-speak his opponent--he did not win because of his deep pockets. On the flip side, I also agree that the younger generation is far less concerned with politics and voting. I am concerned that their lack of interest may decrease the effectiveness of our current political processes.

Kim said...

I have issues with both Jada's post and Hunter's comment.
I think Jada is correct that the poor fundraising is not from a disire for conversation. Instead, I think it is a sign of people's outlook on the economy. With the slow housing market and other economic problems, both companies and individuals are less likely to open their pocketbooks.
Also, Kennedy won the election late in the game because he looked better on TV. The Nixon/Kennedy debate was the first televised debate. Kennedy was younger and played to the camera. Nixon had a 5 o'clock shadow and talked to the studio audience. Therefore, he did not come off as well on TV. So the people who watched the debate said that Kennedy won and those who listened to it on the radio said Nixon won. Also, the Kennedy family has always had deep-pockets. However, I do agree that it is not always the amount of money the candidate has raised that determines who ends up in the final election and in the White House.

Dr. Tufte said...

The focus on the amount of money raised by candidates is a sign of innumeracy. The top candidates raised about $20 million last quarter - that is the range of the gate and concessions at an NFL or major college football game. To claim that this is a lot of money just shows how ignorant the reporters are of what real money is.

Think about this in terms of percentages. How much, as a percentage of GDP, should we spend on elections to run this country for 4 years. Most people say something like 5%: that's about $2 trillion, or about 10,000 times what they actually spend.

Bottom line: our elections are cheap and our reporters are stupid.