Money In Politics: A Look At Wisconsin's Recall
A well thought out look at the money spent on the recent recall election in Wisconsin. The author points out Walker likely would have won even if he hadn't received a large amount of money from outside the state:
"So there’s your money effect, folks. Go from a 2:1 money advantage to a 7:1 money advantage, and it could increase your vote share by a full percentage point! Woo hoo!"
"I don’t mean to sound snide, but I’d say in general that if you pair the same candidates up against each other for the same office, you’ll probably get similar results. And I’d say that the real lesson here is how little the electoral results changed after a vast change in financing."
I'd suggest money could have a greater effect in some instances. Prop 29, for instance: Large infusions of cash can help the underdog. It allows them to make their case and possibly change electoral outcomes, but not always.
In the case of Prop 29, the minority might well have lost without the added infusion of funds that allowed them to present their side of the issue. In the local case of WalMart trying to change zoning on the Balloon Tract, the money- and the argument presented with it- wasn't enough.
Hat tip, as usual, to Radley Balko for the link.