As public frustration over the influence of money in politics continues to grow, a new study shows some evidence the US political system is more “one dollar, one vote” than “one person, one vote.” Thomas Ferguson, with the Institute for New Economic Thinking, tapped big data on congressional races and discovered a stark correlation.
“Basically, you get the percentage of votes that you have of the percentage of money,” Ferguson said. “It’s an amazingly crass relationship, and it’s very direct, and it holds for hundreds of elections.”
Researchers created a chart to track spending and votes in US Senate and House races since 1980. Ferguson says if money and votes were unrelated, the chart would be scattered, but almost without exception, he says the results produced a straight line. When parties spend little to no money, they get the fewest votes.