News 8 Investigates: How big money influences an election

Video Credit: WKBT
Published on November 23, 2019 -
News 8 Investigates: How big money influences an election

News 8 Investigates: How big money influences an election


With less than a year to the presidential election... the candidates have already raised more than 650 million dollars.

But there's much more to come.

Some political analysts believe more money could be spent on the 2020 race than the last election.

News 8 mal meyer joins us now to explain where all this money comes from and how it influences voters... in this news 8 investigates... over the years.

The amount of money spent on presidential races has gone up significantly.

In 2000... about 1 point 4 billion was spent on the election... versus about 2.4 billion in 2016... according to the center for responsive politics.

Part of this money comes from outside groups either supporting or opposing the candidates.

When and how that money is spent could play an important role on which name you see on the ballot.

It won't be long until you start seeing a whole lot more of this.

(nats of the ads playing on the tv) especially if you live in wisconsin.

Ac:"if wisconsin is the most important state, we're going to be a wash in spending..

Spending money here."

That's because.

Ac: "presidentia l elections are really expensive."

Sc: "unless you're running at a very hyper local level, are you going to have a candidate that can talk to every voter."

To get their message out to as many voters as possible, candidates have to pay for trips, tv ads, social media posts, billboards, campaign offices, yard signs and print materials for volunteers to pass out across the u-s.

Sc: "the candidates can't do this all themselves, so you have to have money to pay for those things."

Let's look at the 2016 presidential election.

According to the center for responsive politics, democratic nominee hillary clinton raised about 564 million dollars compared to republican nominee donald trump who raised about 333 million in campaign contributions.

What that doesn't include is the millions upon millions raised by super pacs.

Ac: "they can take in as much money as they can possibly take in.

In 2010, the supreme court ruled in citizens united v.

Fec, that anyone individual or organization can give as much or as little as they want to outside groups dedicated to help a candidate win or lose, as long as that group does not coordinate efforts with a candidate.

Ac: "people will be able to donate a million dollars, 10 million dollars, 50 million dollars.

Since that ruling, spending from outside groups-- largely super pacs-- has gone up dramatically.

Sc:"corporation s are basically allowed now to spend directly to tell you who to vote for and who to vote against.

They can basically do it in an unlimited way."

In 2008, outside groups spent about 230 million on the presidential election.

That amount nearly tripled after the supreme court's ruling and it's only gone up since then.

Ac "this is a huge surge of cash into elections!"

Some candidates have distanced themselves from super pacs.

Sc:"the reality is that we don't have a lot of control sometimes to what people are going to do."

Sachin chheda is a democratic strategist based in milwaukee and has worked on state and federal campaigns.

Sc:"campaigns can't really tell superpacs what to do or not to do.

They can say publicly say, i don't want any super pac support and what that really means is that, i don't want support where is money is being put into some other organization that is then carrying a message that i can't control."

So how can voters know what or who to trust?

Sc: "they're just trying to persuade you to vote for a particular candidate or to vote against a particular candidate or to show up for a particular election."

Chedda says be careful what you listen to.

Look at the disclaimer and find out who paid for the ad.

Find out if it was authorized by the candidate or somebody else.

Sc: "it's really important to trust, i think, what candidates say about themselves and what candidates say about their opponents and try to keep out the noise of what independent groups are trying to say.

I mentioned that the democratic party has typically not supported the formation of super pacs.

However... chergosky beleives that some candidates may change their tune... because they simply won't have enough money on their own to carry them through to the election.

So how does the million in spending from these outside groups change an election?

If you look at certain races... you'll see that some campaigns were really kept alive by this outside spending.

Back in 2016... there were atleast nine top candidates that had more outside money for them... than they raised through their own committee.

(center for responsive politics)

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