The cost of national elections has skyrocketed in recent history, and the unprecedented levels of campaign funding are viewed by many as evidence that elections can be bought. Indeed, it might seem so given that since 2000, the presidential candidate with more campaign funding to maximize the potential of his voters always won.
In 2012, it looked like everyone was focused on drowning each other’s voice out in the airwaves or getting the biggest possible bandwidth presence making the financial features key factor. If you felt like TV had become a war zone during the campaign period, that’s because it really was! There was just no escaping the bombardment of political ads. Some ads were positive messages of hope, but many were awful half-minute jolts of energy that appeal to your negative emotions – the kind you don’t need after coming home from a hard day at the office. If you’d like to be reminded of the suffering you had to endure, visit this collection from LA Times, or better yet these collections from USA Today or the Wall Street Journal to get an idea of the sheer number of messages polluting the airwaves and our minds.
In retrospect it was a battle for our minds using mind-boggling amounts of money. From the looks of it, the richest 1% of the US population who had millions to spare spared no expense to get their candidates elected. Here’s what the campaign funding picture looked like from our perspective:
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