How Much Does it Cost To Win?

NON-PARTISAN POLITICAL EDITORIAL

CampaignSpendingMinistrySpending

Sixteen years ago I celebrated my right to run for President of the United States having been native-born and at least thirty-five years old. After registering with the board of elections, I began a candidacy as a third-party entry into the race. One of my primary issues was ballot access and campaign spending. After a serious effort researching the cost of simply getting my name on the ballot, I discovered I needed two million two hundred thousand dollars to meet all the filing fee requirements. The cost to be on the ballot in the state of Georgia would have cost over eighty-five thousand dollars. My campaign budget was to stay under the five thousand dollar exploratory limit, to refrain from being required to report donations and expenses. With these findings, I learned that running for the highest office is not for persons who do not have access to enormous sums of money. But how much money is a good investment?

The cost to be on the ballot in the state of Georgia would have cost over eighty-five thousand dollars. My campaign budget was to stay under the five thousand dollar exploratory limit, to refrain from being required to report donations and expenses. With these findings, I learned that running for the highest office is not for persons who do not have access to large sums of money. My campaign budget was to stay under the five thousand dollar exploratory limit, to refrain from being required to report donations and expenses. With these findings, I learned that running for the highest office is not for persons who do not have access to large sums of money.

I limited individual’s contributions to one dollar per persons. My son and his fellow elementary school friends collectively gave me two dollars and thirty-five cents with hopes of watching movies and bowling at the White House. After a few weeks of seeing no television commercials, they asked for their money back. Which I gladly returned. I raised about fifteen hundred dollars, one dollar at a time. In a year of hanging chads on ballots and contested results, exit polls suggested I came away with 14 votes, that was $107 dollars per voter. The education was worth the cost.

Knowing that campaigns are expensive on a local level races are expensive and that state and national campaigns at in the crazy levels of spending, my question is what the limits and boundaries compared to the greatest needs in our country and world? Keeping in mind our growing national debt, the numbers of struggling citizen and global neighbors, what is the point where the buying of votes and campaigns outweighs the potential good or damage that can be done by those we choose?

I believe that it is important to make a commitment to be involved in supporting the candidates we trust will do the better job. Can we prove a billion dollars in selling and persuading the undecided? The estimate from the 2015 census data reports just over 142 million registered voters. If 25 percent of each opposing campaign were excluded as the lease likely to change their vote, the remaining seventy-one million registered voters are the candidates’ targeted group of potential voters.

The estimate from the 2015 census data reports just over 142 million registered voters. If 25 percent of each opposing campaign were excluded as the lease likely to change their vote, the remaining seventy-one million registered voters are the candidates’ targeted group of potential voters. Keep in perspective that one billion dollars are divided over 71 million voters equals $14 for each voter.

In most general elections the vote has been decided by a much closer margin as voter turnout has drawn closer to only fifty percent, which would allow $28 to be spent on each potential swing vote. In the past forty years, presidential elections are won by an average margin of 7.2%. Which boils down to 384 million swing voters decide the average choice at a cost of $260 each, the average amount a family spends on miscellaneous spending, a shared data plan and smartphones, a personal flat screen television, or two weeks of smoking a pack a day.

So is the glass half full or half empty on campaign spending? I don’t know, but as for winning,  if all those who are of voting age would invest half of their miscellaneous and vice-spending toward helping persons in poverty, our 28 billion of support would dwarf campaign spending. So before we complain too much about the cost of elections, let’s tackle the cost of not caring for those in need. Praying for honesty and civility in our elections. Join me in praying for justice and healing for those who are hurting and afraid. May we show Christ to all people, everywhere. Allow the dollars we do have to be our investment in the people we are called to be in Jesus Christ.

Great fiscal and spiritual news: Our debt retirement campaign has reached $100,000 dollars. Thank you for your extra mile support and generous giving. Keep it up!

 

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