Ghostbear wrote:You're still making the same logical error as before: "It was not the most important factor, therefor we don't need to worry about it". Advertising doesn't need to be the most important factor to be able to distort an election. There are other sources of information, but advertising is another source of information. You've conceded that it is a factor- if it is, than some votes are determined by it, so again: if you accept that it is a factor, then you're OK with it being able to change close elections. Are you?
EDIT: Forgot this part- if the best data we have available on advertising is unreliable, then you don't make a case based off of that data. "It's the best we got" isn't enough: the data has to be useful and reliable. People's opinions on whether they're affected by advertising will not be reliable, and thus, will not be useful.
Advertising is different from money though. You can run an ad once and drastically effect an election (ex: the Daisy Ad from the Johnson-Goldwater campaign), or you can run a crap load of them and change nothing (Perry in the Iowa caucus, who spent $4 million but floundered), or it can be so horrendous as to hurt not your opponent but you (Elizabeth Dole's ad attacking Kay Hagan by implying she was an atheist in the 2008 midterm elections, which doubled Hagan's poll numbers and she won the election by 9-point margin). A lot of research has been done on negative advertising, and while it can be very powerful when done right, it is a very risky proposition as well as there are a lot of factors involve that decide whether or not it is an effective tool (oddly, it seems it's more effective against Independents and Democrats than Republicans).
Completely flawed source: you're using data from when Romney was already advertising in Iowa! The advertising is already baked into his polling numbers. The average poll results given only includes polls as far back as December 21. In order for my situation to show the influence of money, it'd have to have exactly what happened happen: a candidate who was a poor fit for a state's electorate was able to spend and invest money over many months building up their brand, their perception of electability, and destroying those of their opponents is able to tie a candidate who is a good fit for the state's electorate, with good ground campaigning skills.
Advertising and money isn't all about getting votes: it's also about denying votes to your opponent- do you see the trend for the other candidates in those polls? They rise, then they fall. Gingrich rose to 25-30% about a month before the caucus, then got hit by advertising from Romney's PAC and immediately sunk back down. You don't think that's the influence of money?
So Romney had been advertising since April of 2011 in Iowa? He lost the Straw Poll if my memory serves, so apparently it didn't help him at that point. Most of those rises and falls were due to candidates being appealing at first then doing something stupid (Perry enters, does poor at debates, falls; Hermain Cain gets the votes, then scandals start hitting right and left, Michelle Bachmann was...Michelle Bachmann). And I'd like to know where all that Gingrich support went when he collapsed in Iowa *notices Rick Santorum and the Ronpaul got a big jump in support just at the same time Gingrich went down*. Well, if Romney's plan was to get people to just not show up and vote, it failed cause they just voted for someone else, with one of those someones tying with him and the other only 3%-less second-place position.
And Romney didn't spend "Months building up their brand". His brand has had 25% approval rating since DAY ONE. And Romney isn't that bad of a fit for Iowa since he got second place in 2008 with ....oh look, 25% of the vote! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa_Repub ... uses,_2008 . So his approval rating in Iowa stayed around the same approval rating he had when he ran in 2008 even though he spent more than he did there in 2008 and even had the advantage of name recognition and all that, only to end up being tied with a guy he was outspending by a large margin because of a last minute surge of popularity.
Let's look at New Hampshire:
Okay, so he improved in performance there, but looking at polls in New Hampshire since March of 2011: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls ... -1581.html
Yep, pretty much capped at that 40-41% or so no matter how much he spent or tying in Iowa did.
Let's Look at South Carolina:
Romney 2008: 15%
Romney 2012: 28%
That's a respectable increase, but again the polls showing... http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls ... -1590.html
Yep, again, pretty much an even approval rating for at most of the race, just a slight burst of support at the end. Spending was even between Gingrich and Romney though in this race so you can't just claim Romney did a massive anti-Gingrich negative ad campaign. I wonder what caused that surge:
Date of the Surge's Start: January 4th
Date of NH Primary: January 3rd
So Romney does well in another primary, Gingrich does bad in said primary, Romney gains support, Gingrich loses...well, South Carolina is known for correctly picking the winner. Maybe people wanted to keep that status and saw the Romney wave (at this point it was still said Romney won Iowa and New Hampshire)?
And Santorum apparently did something to get a massive surge *shrug*
Let's go to Florida then:
Romney 2008: 31%
Romney 2012: 46%
Okay, did pretty well for himself compared to the last election, though in this election he's actually been winning some stuff and was the expected front-runner so it's not surprising. And again, Romney keeps hovers around a cap for a long period of time, surges at last second with slight amount over that cap of his: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls ... -1597.html
Point is, if Romney's money is having any real influence at all, it's in just stabilizing what he's had since the very beginning in pretty much every single race so far.
Did you miss my source on how 25% of all superPAC funding in this election cycle has come from five (5) individuals? This is exactly what is happening.
I already knew a very large percentage of superPAC funding is coming from a small group of people. But as a total of all spending so far, most of it is coming from individual donations:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sp ... =P80003353
You'll have to scroll down to the contribution size chart so see that. And among money spent right now, most of it is coming out of the campaigns themselves. Still, even with all the money in the world it seems Romney has spent, his numbers, his polls, everything shows he is basically just standing still. He can't get that decisive, crushing blow you would expect him to get with all that money if money was the determining factor in elections.
So money would have helped Nader then, yes? Ignore his policies, his stances, or his statements- $100 million going to a 3rd party candidate (magically, if need be) would make a big difference. Is it any surprise that the best performing non-major party candidate (Perot) in generations also happened to be a billionaire?
I'll have to get back to you on the stuff about Perot cause apparently no one bothered keeping records of spending during that time >_> *curse you FEC and Open Secrets*,
And I don't see much comparable amount of support for two competing candidates- they're giving to candidates on both sides that support their positions. I don't see any hedge betting. As for unions: can you find an example of me saying that union involvement in campaigns is any better? Good luck.
I know you didn't say anything like that. It was just me commenting on the fact that in all this talk about corporate spending people tend to forget that unions are pretty much the same thing. It was just a rather interesting observation as far as I'm concerned.
But yes, generally speaking, corporations will spend on both sides of the aisles in order to get what they want in order to benefit themselves. Yes, between two competing candidates they'll give more to one than the other...because one of them is the incumbent. I probably don't need to explain why they might give more to an incumbent than the challenger (although studies on campaign spending has found that money is more useful for a challenger than an incumbent *shrug*).
Romney's support has been consist, and so has his access to money. Gingrich's access to money has not been. Huh, I see a trend here, do you?
Yeah, that Gingrich and the other candidates are horrible candidates who are unable to keep the voters interest and support and failed to even make the ground effort to run a campaign (GIngrich isn't even on the ballot in several states that are coming up this super-Tuesday for crying out loud) and most likely didn't even join the campaign seriously and instead use it as a book tour excuse (like Hermain Cain) and accidentally ended up a leading candidate while Romney, who has been expected to be the winner since Day 1 of the lead up to the primaries, is spending huge amounts that dwarf everyone only to stay in the same place he's been since Day 1.
"Likewise, the majority argued that independent expenditures are a form of speech, and limiting a corporation’s ability to spend money also limits its ability to speak. One of the main changes to First Amendment law, announced by the majority, was the expansion of corporate rights recognized by the Court." (Here) I'm going to say that your interpretation of Citazens United is flawed.
(a) Although the First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech,” §441b’s prohibition on corporate independent expenditures is an outright ban on speech, backed by criminal sanctions. ... Because speech is an essential mechanism of democracy—it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people—political speech must prevail against laws that would suppress it by design or inadvertence. Laws burdening such speech are subject to strict scrutiny, which requires the Government to prove that the restriction “furthers a compelling interest and is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest.” WRTL, 551 U. S., at 464.
(b) The Court has recognized that the First Amendment applies to corporations, e.g., First Nat. Bank of Boston v. Bellotti , 435 U. S. 765 , and extended this protection to the context of political speech, see, e.g., NAACP v. Button , 371 U. S. 415 .
(1) bT]he First Amendment prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for engaging in political speech,[/b] but Austin ’s antidistortion rationale would permit the Government to ban political speech because the speaker is an association with a corporate form. Political speech is “indispensable to decisionmaking in a democracy, and this is no less true because the speech comes from a corporation.” Bellotti, supra, at 777
All speakers, including individuals and the media, use money amassed from the economic marketplace to fund their speech, and the First Amendment protects the resulting speech. Under the antidistortion rationale, Congress could also ban political speech of media corporations. Although currently exempt from §441b, they accumulate wealth with the help of their corporate form, may have aggregations of wealth, and may express views “hav[ing] little or no correlation to the public’s support” for those views. Differential treatment of media corporations and other corporations cannot be squared with the First Amendment , and there is no support for the view that the Amendment’s original meaning would permit suppressing media corporations’ political speech.
Bolded for emphasis on parts that pretty much recognize that individuals have all these rights, media corporations have these rights, and so there is no valid reason why other corporations can not be granted these rights (well...technically speaking they've already had all these rights through PACs, it's just expanded.Citizen's United really didn't change that much beyond a spending cap).
You're reasoning is still completely flawed. The person with less money winning does not prevent money from being a significant influence. Especially when the money we're talking about is not the money that the candidates spent. You're ignoring the potential personal advantages of each individual candidate, incumbency, the electorate that made up their district or state... You're saying that money wasn't the sole determinant: so what? I have never said it was.
Yep, you didn't read the report at all:
Party and non-party spending to help competitive Democrats and Republicans was about equal across the parties. As a result, neither set of expenditures could be said to have tipped the electoral balance.
Non-party spending is all the individual expenditures and what not. And as the reports showed, prior to 2008, it was Democrats who had the advantage in terms of money (although the decline in 2010 was due to less party spending), and they kept in 2010 but not by much. So at least in the 2010 election, non-party spending allowed for a more even playing field in terms of money, and so money was not the factor that determined who won the election and instead left it up to everything you just said.
And the bolded is where the two of us differ. I'm not arguing money isn't an influence; I argue that it is an insignificant influence that is dwarfed by much larger factors such as the stuff you mentioned as well social and cultural movements that may be occurring at the time of the election (TEA Party, OWS, etc), state of the economy at the time of the election (which tends to be the best predictor really), etc. etc.