Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why Does It Cost So Much To Run For Office?

People vote in primaries and general elections.  Candidates buy ads to promote themselves.  Why?

I have only missed one or two elections in my life.  I vote in primaries.  I vote in general elections. I doubt that I differ from most other primary voters.  We're a minority, at best 30% of possible voters but usually well under 15%.  For example, the last Democratic primary in Virginia had a 3.5% or so turnout.  I did not need ads for that election.  I knew about the candidates and had my mind made up well before the election.  I bet most other primary voters are like me, they follow politics and know whom they prefer.  So,  who, other than TV stations and advertising firms, benefits from all that spending?

If ads obtained turnout it might make sense.  Ads do not seem to goose primary turnout at all.

Look at at the GOP field today.  Hell even that clown Gilmore has decided to run.  He has no chance of getting anywhere--not even a 3:00 a.m. gig on FOX.  I am not a Republican.  I cannot bring myself to be a Trog.  However, if I were, I know they have only one credible candidate who can contest any Democrat, he's Jeb Bush.  Bush may or may not become their nominee.  If I were a Repub, Bush would have my vote in the primary.  Obviously, he would not in the general since I'm not an acid  drooling knuckle dragger (just like Trump, I call them as I see them, I have no biases).

In the Democratic Party, it's simple.  As soon as Sanders, entered, I sent him some money.  I prefer him and will vote for him.  If he does not get the nod, then I will vote for whomever does.  Ads did not entice me to the Sanders fold.  I've been reading about him for over 20 years.   Ads did not lure me into the Clinton camp, I've also been reading about her for 20 years.  Ads will not make me change my mind.  Chaffee is creepy noxious and O'Malley needs to explain what he did to Baltimore.  

Why does anyone spend a dime on primary voters?   For that matter, why spend a dime on the general election?  Dems will vote for any Dem.  Repubs will vote for any Trog.  Independents will  vote for Dems or Repubs, it's as though they really belonged to either party.  At best, 5% of independents will not make up their minds.  They cannot.  They flip a coin on election day, in the voting booth and then vote.

So why spend any money at all?  How does advertising really affect elections.  Maybe it gooses turnout?

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