Saturday, July 24, 2010

Growing crowd of über-rich candidates

Politics continues to be a saga of it's not how good your ideas are or how great of a candidate you might be, but how much money you have. This New York Times pieces focuses on how the trend is growing this election cycle. Part of the recommended article:

Call it the Great Recession paradox. Even as voters express outrage at the insider culture of big bailouts and bonuses, their search for political saviors has led them to this: a growing crowd of über-rich candidates, comfortable in boardrooms and country clubs, spending a fortune to remake themselves into populist insurgents.

The number of self-financed candidates has crept up the last few election cycles, and this year seems to be on pace for another uptick.

Through just the second quarter of the year, at least 42 House and Senate candidates — 7 Democrats and 35 Republicans — in 23 states had already donated $500,000 or more of their own money to their campaigns, according to the most recent data available from the Center for Responsive Politics. That list does not even include governors’ races, and the roster promises to grow as the campaign season progresses and spending escalates.

Historically, self-financed candidates have tended to lose. The National Institute on Money in State Politics recently found that of those candidates who received more than half of all campaign contributions from themselves or an immediate family member, only 11 percent won from 2000 to 2009.

But this year might be different, with a down economy making it harder for traditional candidates to raise money, and with anti-incumbency fever at record levels.

No comments: