Volume 11 (2013)
Volume 10 (2012)
Volume 9 (2011)
Most Downloaded Articles
- Richer Parties, Better Politics? Party-Centered Campaign Finance Laws and American Democracy by La Raja, Raymond J.
- The Catholics and the Others: The Denominational Backdrop to Modern American Politics by Shafer, Byron E. and Spady, Richard H.
- What the Filibuster Tells Us About the Senate by Schickler, Eric and Wawro, Gregory J.
- The Citizens United Election? Or Same As It Ever Was? by Franz, Michael M
- The Return of the Voter: Voter Turnout in the 2008 Presidential Election by McDonald, Michael P.
Interest Groups in Electoral Politics: 2012 in Context
1Bowdoin College, 9800 College Station, Brunswick, ME 04011, USA
Citation Information: The Forum. Volume 10, Issue 4, Pages 62–79, ISSN (Online) 1540-8884, ISSN (Print) 2194-6183, DOI: 10.1515/forum-2013-0007, February 2013
- Published Online:
This paper compares the levels of ad spending from outside groups and traditional party organizations across seven federal election cycles. The data show clearly that outside groups advertised at historic levels in 2012. Such intense efforts send two important signals to students of American campaign finance. The first involves a crisis in the system of limited donations to candidates and party committees moving forward. The second resurrects an old debate in political science about whether parties or candidates should be the center of our electoral process. The paper concludes with a consideration of possible reforms that might help restore parties and candidates to the center of issue debates in competitive federal elections.