How will "super PACs" and corporate cash in general affect 2012?

There’s been a lot of concern about this ever since that Supreme Court decision. The “super PAC” thing is new to me, and I still don’t quite understand it, but I’ve seen it pop up online of late, especially in relation to Stephen Colbert’s efforts at making his own.

How do you think it’ll affect all (i.e. not just Presidential) races next year? Is it yet (or will it ever be) at a point where they could literally make losers into winners (not that we’d ever know if they actually did)?

I’ve heard, although I can’t remember where, that the effect of money on campaigns is largely over rated. It’s not that having more money makes a candidate win, as it is that winning candidates tend to attract more money. I hope that this is the case, otherwise we are looking at the United States of Pepsico.

Coke/Sprite 2012!

I think the biggest impact of Super-PACs will be that the media will spend more time and money talking about the impact of Super-PACs. It takes lots and lots and lots of money to win an election, but I haven’t seen any evidence that you’ll have a better chance of winning just because you happen to have lots and lots and lots and lots. Just ask Meg Whitman if you need a recent example.

Tastes Great!

It’s not dispositive, but it is a major factor. Would Whitman have gotten as far or as many votes if she’d run a local printshop? Is astroturfing negligible? The crucial difference will be in things that have severely lopsided economics–climate change, for example.

It just means that there’s potentially a lot more money in the game. Also, both sides are going to actively court those donors and play within those new rules. End result? Not much difference, at least, until the donors that donate heavily to one side dry up.