[FoRK] Money and Campaigns Re: My sentiments exactly...

Russell Turpin russell.turpin at gmail.com
Fri Jan 22 16:47:51 PST 2010

On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 6:28 PM, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar
<drernie at radicalcentrism.org> wrote:
> Here’s the surprise: the amount of money spent by the candidates hardly
> matters at all. A winning candidate can cut his spending in half and lose
> only 1 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, a losing candidate who doubles
> his spending can expect to shift the vote in his favor by only that same
> 1 percent. ...

In this day of computerized districting and party triangulation, what
fraction of elections are won by less than 2 per cent? It might be
that the ability to shift 1 per cent of the vote, or even a
half-percent, matters quite a bit.

Or to put it another way, what happens to the political landscape if a
party can shift the vote by, say, 0.25% in all elections?

The analysis offered didn't go far enough, and far from showing that
money spent on campaigns "hardly matters at all," fails to tell us how
much that money matters. My view is that McCain-Feingold was a
ham-handed way to address the issue, and likely didn't much, and that
the SCOTUS decision overturning it was correct. But neither am I
convinced by the referenced analysis that money doesn't matter.

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