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

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Jan 22 17:45:04 PST 2010

Russell Turpin wrote:
> 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.

My impression is that turnout is what is mainly affected by extra 
spending.  Differential turnout can be key.


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