Campaign Finance: How Much is Too Much?

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With $1.7 billion spent on the 2008 presidential election, how much is too much? In the 2004 presidential election George W. Bush and John Kerry spent a combined $646.7 million, while President Barrack Obama spent 740.6 million of the $1.7 billion total on the 2008 election alone (Salant). The overall amount of money spent in the presidential elections has been increasing greatly over time and there seems to be no limit on the amount of money the presidential candidates are able to raise and spend on their campaigns. The presidential candidates have far too much money at their disposal and it has greatly affected the way elections are ran and who gets elected to the highest office position. A solution to this problem could possibly be implementing a spending cap on how much money a candidate is allowed to spend on their entire campaign. That would not only even out the playing field allowing more and possibly better candidates to run for office but also limit the voices of big businesses trying to buy support of their own business in Washington.

In hopes of drawing more attention their way and creating a bandwagon effect, a candidate will focus their strategies and funds towards a positive appearance of themselves on television as much as possible. Although the media progresses a candidate’s lead in the election, this can be unfair because whichever candidate puts a greater amount of money towards campaigning he or she will reach a larger audience than their opponent, giving them the unfair advantage. With television being the fastest and easiest way to reach the largest audience, it’s no surprise nearly half of the funds raised by candidates end up going towards their television advertisements. Television is not cheap either, ...

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... $740.6 million for his campaign” December 27, 2008

Works Cited

Kiss, Jemima. “Why everyone’s a winner” November 10, 2008.

Liptak, Adam. “Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit” January 21, 2010.

MacAskill, Ewen. “US elections: Obama faces backlash for refusing public campaign funding” June 20, 2008.

Roskin Michael G., et al. Potical Science An Introduction

Salant, Jonathan D. “Obama spent record $740.6 million for his campaign” December 27, 2008

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