How do money and campaign contributions affect an election?
As Democratic candidate Barack Obama and Republican candidate John McCain race to the White House they have now raised a combined total of almost $407 million with 70 percent of that figure coming from Barack Obama's fundraising effort. The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) tracks money in politics on their website OpenSecrets.org and breaks down the biggest donors by sector and industry. According to their 2008 election overview, the top industries are lawyers and law firms and the top industry sector is finance, which includes real estate and insurance companies. This election cycle, candidates have now raised nearly $900 million and are on track to raise an unprecedented $1 billion, according to CRP.
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IN THE NEWS
McCain Rejects Public Funds (1.30.08)Now that John McCain's fundraising effort has picked up, he decided to withdraw from the public financing program for presidential candidates. The federal program is seldom used because of the limits it places on candidates, but at the state level public financing is picking up steam.
For more, watch NOW's hour-long special report Votes for Sale? on clean elections.