- Is the US more of a democracy or a plutocracy?
- How much does money influence politics?
- How much should money influence politics?
- What should we do about it?
Audio & Video Resources
Some Campaign facts
Average US House of Representatives campaign > $1 million
Incumbents win > 98%
Average Senate race > $5 million
Incumbents win > 85%
90% of PAC money goes to incumbents
Those who outspend their opponents win over 90% of elections
Donors who gives more than $200 to a congressional candidate make up 1/4 of 1% of the population.
95% are White
80% are men
50% are over 60
80% have family incomes > $100,000
20% have income > $500,000
Their contributions give them access to their representatives.
>50% had formally met with their member of congress since the last election
>30% had formally met with their senator
Bill Gates’ $ = the money of 106 million Americans
In past decade those who outspend their opponent win election 94% of the time
Over 1 billion dollars was spent on the 2012 presidential election alone
Controversial businessman and banker Charles Keating said, “has my financial support in any way influenced several politicians to take up my cause. I certainly hope so.” When another businessman was asked if his $300,000 donation to the democratic party have him access to Clinton replied, “of course. The only reason I gave money is to get access.” He continued , “I only regret now that I didn’t give $600,000.” Fundraiser Johnny Chung said about the business of campaigns that “The White House is like a subway, you have to put in coins to open the gates.
Discussion & Debate
Polemic: It is good that the US is a plutocracy, because those with money make better decisions than those without, have more to lose, have made America strong, & should have more say in determining our future. Discuss & debate.
Call capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121
Ask for a formal meeting with your representative or senator
See what happens and describe your phone conversation in the comments section below
Unit three covers Interest Groups, Political Parties, Campaigns and Elections, Public Opinion, and Media with engaging lessons, readings, projects, and assignments to help your students understand the political world.
Written by an AP Government teacher and College Board consultant with over 20 years of teaching experience and over 10 years as a College Board consultant, this unit, contains 90 pages of lessons, infographics, handouts, and detailed instructions. I’ve provided a recipe for each day’s lesson including all the handouts and instructions you’ll need to help your students understand the US political Process.
Check out this free preview of our Political Process Unit.