Money In Politics

Randall Hoven
For those of you worried about money in politics, I provide the latest facts from Open Secrets regarding the 2012 presidential race (as of 9/2/12).


Obama

Romney

Small individual contributions

$137,921,783

$37,310,424

Large individual contributions

$213,696,880

$156,626,329

PAC contributions

0

$838,481

Candidate self-financing

$5,000

$52,500

Other

$495,859

$127,544

Total*

$348,413,128

$193,373,762

*Total is taken directly from Open Secrets' total. It is not clear why the subtotals add up to more than the total.

A few observations. First, Obama has raised 80% more than Romney. In fact, Obama has already spent 36% more than Romney has raised in total. Not to mention, Romney had to spend his money on winning the primary. Obama had no serious primary opponent. If money in politics is your worry, you should be more worried about Obama than Romney.

While Obama gets a bigger percentage of his war chest from small donations, he still out-draws Romney in tapping large donations, by 36%. There seem to be enough rich people who want Obama to win (or who want Obama to know that they gave him money).

Liberal bedwetters focus on the PAC numbers: Romney's $838K to Obama's zero. The talking point is that Romney is a bought candidate. This ignores two important facts: (1) Romney's PAC contributions amount to an insignificant 0.4% of his totals, and (2) Obama draws significantly more money than Romney from big-money donors, even if you include PAC money (which is insignificant).

One last observation: the total amount raised just for these two candidates exceeds half a billion dollars and the campaign is far from over. Miraculously, after McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform, there is still money in politics. And almost all of that is from individual contributions rather than from corporations directly or PACs. So please, spare me the Citizens United talk; it is a red herring.

The short story: money is still in politics, most of it is from big-dollar donors, and Democrats get most of it.

Randall Hoven can be followed on Twitter.

For those of you worried about money in politics, I provide the latest facts from Open Secrets regarding the 2012 presidential race (as of 9/2/12).


Obama

Romney

Small individual contributions

$137,921,783

$37,310,424

Large individual contributions

$213,696,880

$156,626,329

PAC contributions

0

$838,481

Candidate self-financing

$5,000

$52,500

Other

$495,859

$127,544

Total*

$348,413,128

$193,373,762

*Total is taken directly from Open Secrets' total. It is not clear why the subtotals add up to more than the total.

A few observations. First, Obama has raised 80% more than Romney. In fact, Obama has already spent 36% more than Romney has raised in total. Not to mention, Romney had to spend his money on winning the primary. Obama had no serious primary opponent. If money in politics is your worry, you should be more worried about Obama than Romney.

While Obama gets a bigger percentage of his war chest from small donations, he still out-draws Romney in tapping large donations, by 36%. There seem to be enough rich people who want Obama to win (or who want Obama to know that they gave him money).

Liberal bedwetters focus on the PAC numbers: Romney's $838K to Obama's zero. The talking point is that Romney is a bought candidate. This ignores two important facts: (1) Romney's PAC contributions amount to an insignificant 0.4% of his totals, and (2) Obama draws significantly more money than Romney from big-money donors, even if you include PAC money (which is insignificant).

One last observation: the total amount raised just for these two candidates exceeds half a billion dollars and the campaign is far from over. Miraculously, after McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform, there is still money in politics. And almost all of that is from individual contributions rather than from corporations directly or PACs. So please, spare me the Citizens United talk; it is a red herring.

The short story: money is still in politics, most of it is from big-dollar donors, and Democrats get most of it.

Randall Hoven can be followed on Twitter.