Hey Big Election Spender

US Government and Politics

How often does the higher spending U.S. House candidate win election?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What is the big story this chart tells?

  3. What are two reasons that the higher spending candidate wins?

  4. What are two consequences of this?

  5. Besides the winners, themselves, who benefits most from the trend illustrated in the chart?

  6. Explain why higher spending Senate candidates win more often than higher spending House candidates.

  7. While the candidate who spends the most money usually wins, that does NOT mean that spending Caused the win. Richard Lau, professor of political science at Rutgers, wrote “I think it’s more that winning attracts money.” Explain whether you believe money causes winning.

  8. Claim: this chart is proof that America is not a democracy. Respond to this claim using the chart and your knowledge of American government and politics.

  9. List one step the U.S. Congress could take the power of money out of elections.

  10. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law..abridging the freedom of speech,” If Congress made a law limiting spending in elections and campaigns would that be a violation of freedom of speech?

  11. In 2010, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Bipartisan Campaign reform Act (2002), which had regulated spending in Elections. Explain the connection between the Citizens United case and the data in the chart?

  12. Imagine A scenario in which a special interest group is opposed to money in politics. List three steps that interest group could take to try to achiee their goal of limiting the power of money in elections.

Learning Extension

This 538 article argues that while the candidate who spends the most money wins, money does not cause the win. In fact, the article argues that advertising isn’t even very effective. Read the article or Watch this PBS NewsHour video (below) about money and elections

US Government and Politics

US Government and Politics

Action Extension

Money and Politics is a complicated love story, share your opinion (in class or online) about whether it is wise to give a candidate you support money.

Random Visual Extension

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