The 2012 election is over, but the debate over the fairness and accuracy of our electoral system continues. The courts are dealing with the alleged discriminatory impact of voter ID requirements on minority voters; privacy and vote manipulation are concerns as political campaigns utilize new technology to target voters; the news media are contending with harsh public criticism of their elections coverage; the campaign finance floodgates were opened with vast resources spent on negative advertising; and the Electoral College continues to undermine a national, democratic electoral system—Is this any way to run a democratic election?

This fully updated fifth edition answers that important question by looking at both recent events and recent scholarship focused on the democratic electoral process, including new data and timely illustrations from the 2012 elections.

Has Money Corrupted Our Electoral Process?

Has money corrupted our electoral process?

Did you know that…

  • Richard Nixon spent six times as much in his last race for the presidency in 1972 (and more than twice as much as his Democratic opponent, George McGovern) as he spent for his first in 1960?
  • Barack Obama's 2008 campaign spent almost twice as much as did McCain and the Republican National Committee combined; in 2012, both the Obama and Romney campaigns and their supporting groups spent about the same amount, over $1 billion each?
  • the more money congressional incumbents spend in the general election the more likely they are in trouble?
  • approximately 1 percent of the population contributed almost 25 percent of the money spent in the 2010 congressional elections?
  • there may be no ...
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