• Graph of the Week – Campaign Ad Spending

    In case you missed Rachel Maddow last night, they featured an excellent bar graph in the lead segment which quantifies all of the top presidential campaigns in terms of television ad spending, broken out by “hard-money” campaign spending and “soft-money” spending by outside groups.

    The main takeaway from the graph is that the GOP primary polling numbers have thus far proven highly resistant to monetary influence. Bush is currently polling below Trump, Carson, Rubio, and Cruz, despite having spent more than all of them combined and doubled. Trump is well ahead of the entire field, despite having spent the least of all. Three of the top polling frontrunners (Carson, Cruz, Trump) have spent $2 million or less, in a field where median spending is over twice that and average spending per candidate is over $7 million.

    Most of my friends are left-of-center, and they tend to support either Bernie Sanders’ stance against Citizens United or Hillary Clinton’s nearly identical stance. As such, they also tend to believe that Citizens United functions to “protect the right of billionaires to buy elections” as Clinton says, because otherwise they would have no good argument to make against unlimited spending in support of political speech.

    As a skeptic, I require good evidence before I will believe that soft money actually buys elections. This presidential election cycle serves as a test case, and so far it is not going well for the dedicated opponents of paid political speech.

    Your thoughts?

    Category: Damned Lies and StatisticsFree SpeechPolitics

    Article by: Damion Reinhardt

    Former fundie finds freethought fairly fab.