Does money buy elections?

I think that’s more a problem with the lobbying process than the campaign process though. Corporations simply aren’t campaigning for politicians, even after Citizens United. IT’s mainly rich individuals who are doing so.

And money in politics isn’t the only thing that’s bad, a lot of these companies are powerful even if they don’t donate a dime. Would Michigan’s delegation be any less beholden to the auto industry if they weren’t getting donations? The economic power of the auto companies in Michigan are enough for them to get their way. The money improves personal relationships I’d imagine, but when the auto companies tell these guys to jump, they’re going to do it whether they get paid or not.

Money makes many things, This is the popular tag which we used to listen most of the time. This not only applies for the good things but also for the bad things to be happened. Money plays a great role in the elections for electing a leader in present situation. The money which a leader used to spend on people for voting him/her won’t bother about the people’s matter, he/she used to think of their own safe and security as well as the income for them. This is a great loss for the people only .

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Well that’s the thing, we know of at least one group which’d disagree: those spending money on campaign ads. They certainly don’t seem to have any other purpose other than partisan advocacy. The majority of people seem to think unlimited expenditure matters too. If it had no effect, then public intervention and financing would be sufficient to prevent the spiralling expenditure, as it works in the UK. There would be plenty of room for opinion pieces in other venues.

To use the nuclear analogy, it’d be an external agent intervening and decreasing the nuclear cache of all parties to what is sufficient to destroy the world over once (reducing the effective frequency of advertising, so that each party has to make efficient use of their allotted time).

Since the UK doesn’t have a 1st amendment, and Parliament is supreme(they can pass any law they choose), I take it you prefer such unlimited government?

The UK’s constitution is not a single legal document but a vast number of documents, isn’t it so that they cannot make an unconstitutional law just like the US?

Parliamentary sovereignty (also called parliamentary supremacy or legislative supremacy) is a concept in the constitutional law of some parliamentary democracies. It holds that the legislative body has absolute sovereignty, and is supreme over all other government institutions, including executive or judicial bodies. The concept also holds that the legislative body may change or repeal any previous legislation, and so that it is not bound by written law (even a constitution) or by precedent.

How do you know? Do you read the minds of donors?

If this were true, you’d see alot more hedging - giving to both sides. Most donors don’t do that. The idea that you can just buy a politician is way overblown. Even if you assume they have no principles and will just do whatever money tells them to, the fact remains that they have the voters to answer to, and no amount of money can overcome angry voters.

Then there’s the fact that there are lots of donors to satisfy anyway. If it were just a bidding war, you’d see donors from both sides of issues giving alot to both sides of the issue, with the one giving more getting their way. Yet, much like with hedging bets, that’s not how it really works. Most candidates stake out positions and stick to them, and donors line up. For instance, a pro-labor candidate gets lots of labor money, while an anti-labor candidate gets anti-labor money. That’s a very clear indication that candidates are doing what they believe in, and donors are giving to help them win.

Doesn’t mean they are right. They may just be wasting their money.

Or, more likely, money does tilt the outcome of a few elections, but you don’t know which ones until you spend it.

Politicians aren’t very bright. The do what their campaign handlers tell them. Dick Morris used to urge Bill Clinton, while he was a sitting President, to buy ad time. Ad time whose commissions went to Dick Morris’ bank account. Clinton’s much smarter than your average pol, but even he was convinced to do it on occasion. Which is one reason Dick Morris and hacks like him are so wealthy. They tell candidates that they need to raise and spend tons of money, because the more money is raised, the more the campaign heads make.

http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/

2004: Federal elections, Democrats spent $2.146B Republicans spent $1.963B. Republicans won.

One thing’s for sure - you can’t simply point to correlation, as in the old “93 percent of candidates who spend more than their opponent win.”

The problem with that is that there are spurious variables. For instance, if a candidate is more popular with voters because of who he is or his policies, he’s going to get more money sent to him from those supporters, even though he’d win without it.

Then there are the incumbents who amass huge war chests just to scare off challengers instead of having to go out and beat them. Or those who are also so popular that they’re not going to get beaten regardless.

The system is messed up, no doubt about it. Money shouldn’t have such importance, and candidates shouldn’t have to go digging for it so much. But the idea that you can buy elections is wildly overblown. It may put someone over the top in a close race, but it’s not magic.

Yeah, I think that claiming an election can be bought is just facile reasoning. history is littered with ad campaigns that saturated the airwaves and failed, in politics and in sales. Crystal Pepsi, the Adam Computer, Meg Whitman…

But Advertising works!™

So does spending more money on your military. It does not guarantee victory in war. Or in baseball, where somehow the Yankees do not win every year, although they tend to win more often than other teams.

Tell that to Meg Whitman, now CA governor. Oh wait.

From here..

She pretty much just pissed people off, in so small part because she spent so much early that people were tired of her by the time November came around - and she was supposed to be the fresh face.

This isn’t the presidential election, of course, but it is the most blatant example of outspending and getting creamed I can think of.

That doesn’t answer my question. Your cite shows how much each party spent in totality on all federal elections.

From the cite however out of the last 7 elections the party that spent more won more seats 6 out of 7 times.

Odds are the party that spends more money has better outcomes. With the money almost always in favor of the winning party it’s hard to conclude money has nothing to do with it. It does seem to make a difference but I’m not sure how you’d measure the effect of just the money. The money and the politics can’t be separated with our current system.

5 out of 7, actually.

Wait, I’m wrong, 4 out of 7. All of them midterm elections. It would appear that the lower the turnout, the less effect advertising has. I guess low turnout means smarter voters?

Right. But most of them succeed. And the reason is that they were carefully designed anyway. The money just broadcast the message, it wasn’t the message. Ad campaigns rarely fail because usually nobody is going to waste money on a bad one.

I misinterpreted the chart the percentage is percentage of money spent. Does anyone have a handy chart with number or percentage total federal seats won each election?

Again has there ever been a presidential campaign that won without being the highest spending campaign?