Money Matters


Given the poor performances of various GOP Super PACs, Lee Drutman of the Sunlight Foundation considers the role of money in politics going forward. One important point:

It’s an old story that money determines who runs for office in the first place. As Rahm Emanuel once put it: “The first third of your campaign is money, money, money. The second third is money, money, money. And the last third is votes, press, and money.” In other words, if you don’t have access to individuals willing to part with large sums of money to support your candidacy, you’ve got no business running for office.

Estimates are that incumbents now spend at least a quarter (probably more) of their time while in office raising money for their re-election. The lesson of 2012 is that it costs even more to get in the game. This further limits the pool of candidates who can run, and means that incumbents will want to build an even bigger war chest. 

Matthew DeLuca and Michael Keller created an interactive graphic on Super PAC winners and losers (detail above).