A few commenters at this last post on presidential campaign spending suggested examining spending as a function of annual real GDP. Check it out:
My understanding is that spending in 1896 was largely driven by the Republican side, which outspent Democrats roughly 5 to 1. And that spending mainly came from large corporations enlisted by Marcus Hanna to beat back the silver-coining advocates they (correctly) perceived as a threat to their interests.
Another observation: 2008 looks pretty unremarkable.
Awesome chart, Seth.
The crazy thing is that even if the Dems only spent 1/6 of the money in 1896, that's still much more than most of the entire campaign in other years. I mean, the Dems in 1896 spent the equivalent of more than double the entire cost of the 1992 campaign...and got outspent 5 to 1!
So where will this year land if we count the SuperPACS?
What do you think about the idea of using a 3-seat LR Hare PR election rule for state representative elections, using the same districts drawn up for state senate elections, as a way to handicap 2-party rivalry, draw more attn to these elections, give third parties a chance to win some states and to draw attn to the issues of economic/ethnic/ideological minorities in the US?
That's what I blog about at "A New Kind of Third Party".
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