As recently announced, the conservative Koch brothers have announced a budget to contribute $889 Million to the 2016 presidential race. In 2012, each party spent approximately $1 billion on campaigns, the most expensive year in election history. The next most expensive election year was 2008. As trend suggests, 2016 is on track to break new records.
OpenSecrets provides a fantastic graph and chart to show the cost of congressional and presidential elections since 1998.
Taking into account both congressional and presidential elections in 2008, 2010, and 2012, over $15 billion was spent on campaign efforts. Fifteen billion. That doesn’t take into account any dirty money passed under the table. All of this money is being spent on obnoxious campaigns that frustrated citizens mute or exit out of. Payroll, fees, traveling, etc.
My idealistic self wonders what would happen if they invested this money in the causes they blabber on about. One billion dollars isn’t going to change the world, but it can change someone’s world. If a candidate appeared on a tv debate and announced that all of their fundraising money was being invested in the education system, they would have my vote faster than an adrenaline-filled heartbeat.
Unfortunately a tactic like this probably wouldn’t work. Over exposure seems to be an effective method, especially considering many voters don’t tune in to debates or do their research about candidates.
But, what if?