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.
Barking Louder: Interest Groups in the 2012 Election
1Milano School of International Affairs, Urban Management and Public Policy, The New School
2Department of Political Science, University of Missouri, St Louis
Citation Information: The Forum. Volume 10, Issue 4, Pages 80–90, ISSN (Online) 1540-8884, ISSN (Print) 2194-6183, DOI: 10.1515/forum-2013-0012, February 2013
- Published Online:
This essay compares interest group activity in the 2012 federal elections with the previous two cycles. We examine the role of interest groups in financing campaign activities and influencing voters. Coming in the wake of the Citizens United case and other court decisions that relaxed campaign finance restrictions, the 2012 election marked an explosion of outside spending by organized interests, particularly independent expenditure advertising. While outside spending may not have produced the outcomes some expected in 2012, it blurs the distinction between candidates and outside groups and may be shifting the balance of power in campaigns away from candidates and toward organized interests. We conclude with a series of predictions about the nature of interest group activity in future election cycles.