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"Despite several attempts to regulate campaign finance, money increasingly domninates the US electoral process and is the main factor contributing to a candidates success" Discuss

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Introduction

?Despite several attempts to regulate campaign finance, money increasingly dominates the US electoral process & is the main factor contributing to a candidate?s success? In recent years the increase in money poured into US elections has created a seemingly money dominated election with some arguing success relies on the highest level of campaign funding. As a result of the Watergate scandal The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974 attempted to make a number of significant changes. However with the increased regulations there have been increased loopholes and many ways to get around these regulations, many donating large sums of money argue they are not the most important part of the campaign and the significance still lies with the Candidates strength and skills. But as the 2008 and 2012 hugely exceeded the expenditure of any previous election it is clearly to see money is playing an increasingly significant role. FECA of 1974 aimed to reduce candidates? reliance on few wealthy donors and equalise money spent by the major parties. This law was however weakened by the Supreme #Court in the Buckley v Valeo ruling that limitations on what individuals or PACs could spend infringed the 1st amendment. ...read more.

Middle

Money is also the most important factor due to the diversity and size of the American electorate. Many interests need to be targeted and this relies on different angles of campaigning with different emphasises on differing policies for individual groups of the electorate. For example Obama in 2012 gained a significant proportion of Latin voters ? a +44% advantage over Romney ? and targeted these voters with information about immigration. The need to reach out to such a large demographic of voters further puts strains on the costing of elections. Many states require visits and this insures great travel costs for each of the candidates as they go on election tours and rallys. Obama in 2012 visited 4 states in one day in November ? New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio and Colorado. As the elections become ever closer swing states also play a higher significance and winning these states have a higher impact on the outcome of the election, visiting these is of primary importance and more money in advertising is require for these states due to the difference undecided voters can make. ...read more.

Conclusion

The role of policy and a candidate?s personal strengths can be said to play the most significant part. Opinions on key issues such as the economy in 2012, views and actions to tackle these key issues are likely to change voters? minds and capture undecided voters. For example the swing voters play a large impact on deciding who wins an election, many in 2012 believe Obama?s ?Latin vote advantage? won him the election over Mitt Romney, and in a Reuters poll 61% of mothers felt the country was on the wrong track favouring their vote against the incumbent president. In conclusion, money does not guarantee electoral success but it is increasingly difficult to win without large funds due to the financial demands of the elongated campaigns and reliance on advertising. It is capturing the vote of most Americans that is most essential and significant in the election, and although this can be easier done with financial backing, finance does not necessarily affect people?s opinions presidential candidates and key issues. But as elections get increasingly expensive the dominance of money may lead to a situation whereby only wealthy candidates are able to mount a successful attempt at winning the presidential election. ...read more.

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