High Cost of Campaigning Winnows the Political Field Congress Resumes Finance-Reform Debate, Even as Big-Name Politiciansopt to Quit

By Stacy A. Teicher , writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 13, 1999 | Go to article overview

High Cost of Campaigning Winnows the Political Field Congress Resumes Finance-Reform Debate, Even as Big-Name Politiciansopt to Quit


Stacy A. Teicher , writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Money, always a big factor in determining elections, has assumed an even greater role as strong man in the 2000 contests - defeating presidential hopefuls before Americans have cast a single primary vote and winnowing the field of candidates even at the House and Senate levels.

So intense are the current demands of fund-raising that seasoned politicians, including incumbents and big-name challengers, are increasingly bowing out early, or deciding not to run at all.

New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (R) provided the most recent example of the winnowing power of money, announcing last week that crushing fund-raising demands played a major part in her decision not to run for a vacant US Senate seat. With that decision, she joins a lengthening list of politicians - from incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) of New Jersey to aspiring senator Frankie Sue Del Papa, attorney general of Nevada - who cite the pressure to raise money as one reason they quit before they even got started.

As Congress tomorrow takes up the issue of campaign-finance reform, once again, some analysts say the problem now is not only the influence of money, but also the intimidation factor of having to raise so much from individual donors. The new level of self-winnowing by potential candidates and the degree to which money drives the process are hurting democracy, they say.

"In recent years, more and more experienced candidates are choosing not to seek office, especially Senate seats, because the burdens of fund-raising are too great," says Anthony Corrado, a government professor at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and a campaign-finance expert.

Criteria for candidates

One consequence is that voters get fewer quality candidates to choose from, he says. Moreover, those who do end up on the ballot have been recruited in large part because they have personal wealth to back up their campaigns. The number of candidates for Congress who spend $100,000 or more of their own money has increased dramatically, Mr. Corrado adds.

"First and foremost, it's the wallet that's looked at," agrees Charles Cook of the Cook Political Report.

In the 1998 election election cycle, the average winning Senate candidate spent $4.7 million on radio and television advertisements, direct mail, telemarketing, and other campaign costs. All of it must be raised in $1,000 increments from individuals or $5,000 donations from political action committees (PACs).

"It's a humbling process," says Jennifer Duffy, who tracks Senate campaigns for the Cook Political Report. "You're calling total strangers on the phone, introducing yourself, and then hitting them up for a grant. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

High Cost of Campaigning Winnows the Political Field Congress Resumes Finance-Reform Debate, Even as Big-Name Politiciansopt to Quit
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.