Actions

Where are candidates getting their cash?

Posted at 12:09 PM, Nov 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-01 13:30:47-05

BELL COUNTY, TX — Candidates will spend more money than ever this year to get elected, according to experts.

It's something that's got some voters bugged.

Many want to see the best candidates, not the ones with the most money.

Chuck Schober says it seems as if only the rich or well-connected can afford to get into politics these days.

"It can be frustrating when the person that you that you think is the right for the job that you wish would win and you just see them just being out-spent and they can't get out of a primary," said the Temple man.

It seems to happen more and more with every election.

"I would love to see the research on does campaign spending equal wins," he said. So we found research from the Center for Responsive Politics which shows, over the last ten years, the big money almost always wins.

What makes candidates spend so much?

The simple idea of getting and holding our attention.

"We believe fully that because of that engagement they're more active in things, it costs to reach those people, 24/7, 365 it sure does," said Kirk Bell, of the Sessions for Congress Campaign.

As with many years, most campaign spending went to buy television ads. Let's face it, buying time on mass media gets expensive, especially in big cities.

The New York Times cites the ad tracking firm Advertising Analytics which has counted $1.8 billion spent on TV so far, potentially topping the $2.4 billion spent in 2016.

Where's that cash coming from? Donors who give $200 or less to a campaign.

This year, they make up 22 percent of political fund-raising.

"Well I think there's unprecedented interest in this election for one thing, and so a lot of individual donors are stepping up," said Chris Kelley Rosenberg, Chairperson of Bell County Democrats.

Studies show more rich folks support the Democrats this time around, while those with slimmer incomes take Trump.

Big campaign events trigger big spikes in giving, and women have given more than ever this year, accounting for 44 percent of all donors.

So the money just keeps flowing. If you consider that a problem, how do you stop it?
"We can all find the problem but finding a solution is is different," said Schober.

A solution made harder as changing demographics make Central Texas a battleground, where spending to a candidate can come down to a zip code.