Financing the 2008 Election

Financing the 2008 Election: Assessing Reform

David B. Magleby
Anthony Corrado
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 341
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7864/j.ctt1261mn
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  • Book Info
    Financing the 2008 Election
    Book Description:

    The 2008 elections were by any standard historic. The nation elected its first African American president, and the Republicans nominated their first female candidate for vice president. More money was raised and spent on federal contests than in any election in U.S. history. Barack Obama raised a record-setting $745 million for his campaign and federal candidates, party committees, and interest groups also raised and spent record-setting amounts. Moreover, the way money was raised by some candidates and party committees has the potential to transform American politics for years to come.

    The latest installment in a series that dates back half a century,Financing the 2008 Electionis the definitive analysis of how campaign finance and spending shaped the historic presidential and congressional races of 2008. It explains why these records were set and what it means for the future of U.S. politics. David Magleby and Anthony Corrado have assembled a team of experts who join them in exploring the financing of the 2008 presidential and congressional elections. They provide insights into the political parties and interest groups that made campaign finance history and summarize important legal and regulatory changes that affected these elections.

    Contributors: Allan Cigler (University of Kansas), Stephanie Perry Curtis (Brigham Young University), John C. Green (Bliss Institute at the University of Akron), Paul S. Herrnson (University of Maryland), Diana Kingsbury (Bliss Institute at the University of Akron), Thomas E. Mann (Brookings Institution).

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-0462-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
    David B. Magleby and Anthony J. Corrado
  4. ONE Adaptation and Innovation in the Financing of the 2008 Elections
    (pp. 1-47)
    DAVID B. MAGLEBY

    The 2008 elections were by any standard historic. The nation elected its first African American president, and the Republicans nominated their first female candidate for vice president. More money was raised and spent on federal contests than in any election in U.S. history. Moreover, the way money was raised by some candidates and party committees has the potential to transform American politics for years to come. Barack Obama raised a record-setting $745 million for his campaign. While Obama’s fundraising was extraordinary, other federal candidates, political party committees, and interest groups also raised and spent record-setting amounts in the 2008 election...

  5. TWO The Regulatory Environment of the 2008 Elections
    (pp. 48-85)
    ANTHONY CORRADO

    The election of 2008 was the third federal election conducted under the regulations prompted by the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA). Yet as the election cycle began, the debate over the law’s restrictions and implementation was still being waged. Congress’s decision to pass BCRA did not diminish the controversy over campaign finance reform; instead, the battle shifted to the next steps in the policy process. Opponents of the law turned to the courts and the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the agency responsible for crafting regulations to implement the provisions of the law, in hopes of overturning some of its...

  6. THREE Financing the 2008 Presidential Nomination Campaigns
    (pp. 86-126)
    JOHN C. GREEN and DIANA KINGSBURY

    The 2008 elections shattered numerous federal campaign finance records, and the presidential nomination campaigns led the way. Barack Obama’s nomination fundraising was extraordinary, surpassing records set by the leading candidates in 2004 and 2000. However, the financial activity of many other candidates and interest groups was also large by recent standards.¹ Indeed, the fundraising successes of Obama and his chief rival, Hillary Clinton, were a major factor in the unusual length and intensity of the Democratic nomination campaign. All told, more than $1.2 billion was raised by presidential hopefuls during the nomination phase of the election, almost twice the amount...

  7. FOUR Financing the 2008 Presidential General Election
    (pp. 127-165)
    ANTHONY CORRADO

    The 2008 presidential general election marks a turning point in the annals of presidential campaign finance. For the first time since the adoption of the public funding program in 1974, a major-party nominee, Democratic challenger Barack Obama, chose to forgo the public option and rely solely on private fundraising to finance his bid for the Oval Office. Obama’s decision dictated the financial dynamics of the general election and left Republican John McCain, who accepted the $84.1 million public grant, facing the prospect of being outspent by a substantial margin. But the scope of the advantage that Obama ultimately achieved was...

  8. FIVE Financing the 2008 Congressional Elections
    (pp. 166-209)
    PAUL S. HERRNSON and STEPHANIE PERRY CURTIS

    The 2008 congressional elections occurred in the shadow of a hotly contested presidential race. Presidential elections always dominate the headlines, but with no incumbent up for reelection and the prospect of the election of the first African American president, the race between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain received exceptional media coverage. Despite the attention to the top of the ticket, the congressional elections offered their own fair share of drama. Having lost control of both the House and Senate two years earlier, Republicans hoped, albeit cautiously, that they could make significant inroads into the Democrats’ congressional majorities.¹ Democrats, on...

  9. SIX Political Parties and the Financing of the 2008 Elections
    (pp. 210-248)
    DAVID B. MAGLEBY

    The two most important and enduring parts of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002 are the ban on party soft money and the increase in individual contribution limits, which BCRA has now more than doubled and indexed to inflation. Both of these changes impacted the political parties in 2008. In addition, elements of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) as amended in 1974, like disclosure, remain important.

    A focal point of the legislative record and public debate about campaign finance reform leading up to passage of BCRA was the ability of the political parties to circumvent FECA’s system...

  10. SEVEN Interest Groups and the Financing of the 2008 Elections
    (pp. 249-289)
    ALLAN CIGLER

    Extensive group financial involvement in American campaigns is of relatively recent vintage.¹ Early in the nation’s history, nationally oriented political associations were nonexistent, and the cost of campaigning was modest; campaign funds normally came from candidates and their friends. With mass enfranchisement and the development of the political party as an organization, typically associated with the Jacksonian era, campaign expenditures escalated, and wealthy individuals, those who held federal office, and party members became important in underwriting campaign expenses.

    By the middle of the nineteenth century, the impact of the Industrial Revolution and the Civil War had demonstrated the close connection...

  11. EIGHT Lessons for Reformers
    (pp. 290-306)
    THOMAS E. MANN

    The stunning January 21, 2010, decision inCitizens United v. Federal Election Commissionthat ruled unconstitutional the long-standing ban on corporate spending in federal elections is only the latest in a series of legal and political developments before, during, and after the 2008 election cycle that call for a serious rethinking of campaign finance policy.¹ As documented in this volume, court rulings, Federal Election Commission (FEC) actions and nonactions, decisions by presidential candidates not to participate in the voluntary public funding program, responses by political parties and interest groups to the post-BCRA legal environment, and new campaign uses of digital...

  12. Glossary
    (pp. 307-320)
  13. Contributors
    (pp. 321-322)
  14. Index
    (pp. 323-341)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 342-342)