Sometimes Candidates Should Just Say No to Campaign Cash

by - September 09, 2014

An argument can be made that the bad publicity surrounding these fund-raisers may have cost 2014 Democratic candidates more votes than the campaign cash will have gained. In congressional election years, presidential approval ratings are a major factor in shaping voting and turnout decisions. And these days, Obama's dismal approval ratings (averaging 35 percent on foreign policy and 42 percent overall) are dragging Democrats down. The last major national fund-raising scandal stemmed from Bill Clinton's belief that campaign cash would be his line of defense in his 1996 reelection race. As a result, he agreed to an ethically iffy agenda of White House coffees and Lincoln Bedroom sleepovers to raise unregulated "soft money" for the Democratic Party. In the final weeks of the campaign -- as news stories began to trickle out about dubious Asian soft-money contributions -- Clinton's poll numbers tumbled. Where the Gallup Poll in mid-October gave Clinton a landslide 23-point lead over Republican Bob Dole, the president's final margin of victory was a more modest 9-percentage points.

Source: Sometimes Candidates Should Just Say No to Campaign Cash | Brennan Center for Justice

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