I gotta idea!

Cheapest GOP Primary in Decade Defies Forecast

Even as experts predict that the 2012 presidential race will be the most expensive in U.S. history, a funny thing is happening on the way to the Republican nomination: It’s becoming one of the cheapest primaries in a more than a decade.

The top nine Republican candidates spent $53 million through September, compared with $132 million spent at the same time four years ago. The sum is even lower than totals reported during the same period in the 2004 and 2000 primaries — when most candidates still were abiding by campaign spending limits in order to receive public matching money.

In the crowded Democratic primary in 2004, the candidates had spent $58 million through Sept. 30, 2003. Four years earlier, a primary field of 10 Republican candidates had spent $68 million in the first three quarters of 1999.

One major difference is a profusion of televised debates — 11 so far — negating the need for costly commercials.

“The debates and the daily drama of the Republican presidential primary are the new TV,” said Ken Goldstein, president of Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group in Arlington, Virginia.

The spending slump is having an effect on the campaign trail. Advertising in the first two states to hold contests, Iowa and New Hampshire, has plummeted 75 percent. And candidates who have barely registered in what’s sometimes called “the money primary” are vaulting into the lead.

Imagine if each party arranged their primaries similar to this year’s GOP contest. The candidates agree to limits on campaign spending and in exchange, the party arranges and pays for a series of debates, forums and one-on-one interviews that give each candidate equal time and treatment.

Rather than spending all their time fundraising from fat cats, the candidates spend time talking policy in front of voters.

There would be a few bugs to work out, like deciding who should and shouldn’t be included in process. It would be voluntary, and any candidate who didn’t want to participate (or wasn’t allowed to) would still be free to fundraise and spend the traditional way.

Now obviously this wouldn’t apply to an incumbent running for reelection. But at least one party every four years has an open primary. In 2008 it was both parties.

I know what you’re thinking – it makes too much sense.

But it would work.

About Myiq2xu

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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9 Responses to I gotta idea!

  1. foxyladi14 says:

    I agree it makes sense. 🙂

  2. DeniseVB says:

    With all these freaking 24/7 cable news channels, they should ban campaign ads period. It’s one long campaign commercial anyhow 🙂

    Oh, and while they’re at it, ban robo-calls ! Especially those who fill up my voicemail with the other guy’s going to blow up the world scary threats. Grrr.

  3. votermom says:

    C4P is having an internal Newtlar meltdown right now. Argh.

  4. Lola-at-Large says:

    I like your creative thinking, but I’m not sure this will work. Remember that this is also how it went down in 2007–with a shit-ton of Dem candidates and a lot of gratuitous debates. That’s part of what allowed Big Zero his opening. He simply waited out his competition until the field was whittled down to Hillary and Edwards, and he had the goods on Edwards to force him out. Plus, the media already has an out-sized influence. I don’t want them to have more. My 2 cents.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I saw all the Dem candidates at YK07 (except Biden, didn’t show). BO was a nervous twitch and not real quick on his feet as I recall. It was August 2007, check my FB wall photos, there’s a JRE group shot I put up whenever I need street cred with my former Obot friends 🙂

      BO had the goods on Bill Richardson too. I met the real “macaca” guy who was then working on his campaign. I asked him why Richardson?(he was a student of Larry Sabato at UVA at the time. A very competitive class that requires an essay contest to get into. His essay was 3 words “I am Macaca”). “Richardson, on paper, was the most qualified candidate of the bunch, the rest were just politics.” By the time I could take a second look at Richardson, he was under the bus. Never to be heard from again, as was the popular Wesley Clark.

      What could have been. Huh?

    • myiq2xu says:

      Obama raised and spent $99 million in 2007 – more than all the GOP candidates this year combined.

      In 2007 it was more than all the Democrats except Hillary combined.

      His original backers – Wall Street.

  5. yttik says:

    That’s a brilliant idea. Naturally it involves too much common sense, so we’ll have to scratch it.

    It really is obscene to spend a billion dollars on a campaign in this economy. Also, it’s bothersome when people are willing to spend that much money on a job that only pays about 200 grand a year. It makes you suspicious of their motivation, are they planning to make a lot of money on the side with crony capitalism? Are they just power hungry and want the prestige and the title? Regardless, those are not the kind of people I want to have to vote for.

  6. votermom says:

    Throw Them All Out author is skeptical of Congress investigating itself:


    Some of the individuals I have cited in the book as having engaged in stock deals serve on the very committees that will be conducting the hearings. That’s a little like asking a defendant to also be a juror at their own trial — an absurdity that could only happen in Washington.

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