Campaign spending way up this year

Posted at 12:02 PM, Nov 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 20:14:56-05

TEMPLE, TX — Not only might this campaign season break voting records, it may also break spending records too.

Why have politics become such a big money game? What do voters and politicians think about it?

"Do I think there's too much money being poured into political campaigns this year? I do. I'm not a huge fan of all the top campaign spending," explained Chuck Schober of Temple.

And it looks like we're on track to have the most expensive campaign season ever.

A report in the New York Times says by a lot. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates candidates for the presidential and congressional races alone will reach $14 billion, double the previous high set in 2016.

Why so much money pouring into politics? Blame the 24 hour news cycle.

It's created a campaign season that's 24/7 365. And voters say it too often seems to favor the same players.

"It disadvantages those that are trying to step in. That's why our country is built on anyone being able to step in and fill that role," said Schober.

More and more political experts say good candidates won't run because they don't have the cash.

A few millionaires have stepped in who can self-fund their campaigns to mixed results.

"Any more money matters more than character and I think that's extremely out of balance and not the way that we want to conduct ourselves it's not who we are," said Chris Kelley Rosenberg, who chairs the Bell County Democrats.

But isn't it? While Democrats may complain about big money politics, this year they're making more of it.

Republicans on the other hand are a little more forgiving of successful people who run.

"We are seeing more and more, the idea that whoever did work hard and succeeded in what they have done is now a bad guy for working hard and succeeding. That's just totally backwards," said Retired Army Colonel Jon Ker, who sits on the Texas Republican Executive Committee.

A lot of voters agree with him and argue successful business people make good leaders.

Chuck Schober doesn't necessarily disagree but he says in the marketplace of ideas it looks like the little guy, who doesn't have a huge bank account, gets squeezed out. "And so when you have people that are spending millions and millions and millions it discourages average Joe Blow from stepping in and making a difference," said Schober.

It's interesting to note 22 percent of the total money raised in this election cycle came from people who gave $200 or less to a candidate or cause. So while would-be politicians with small bank accounts may sit on the sidelines, voters with small bank accounts have apparently begun voting with their wallets.