Hold on to your hats, people: in a recent speech, George Mason University economics professor Thomas Stratmann claimed that “money is important in politics.”
All kidding aside, Stratman’s research does give us some interesting, concrete figures on just how much your your chances of winning an election increase if more people donate money to your political campaign. Here are some of the more interesting bits of data:
“Stratmann measured the probability by focusing on the amount a candidate spends on advertising. His findings revealed that a candidate receives slightly more votes when he or she outspends an opponent by $100,000 in advertising. Therefore, he concluded that all campaign spending is productive.
“Stratmann said people contribute to campaigns either to influence the outcome of an election for a candidate who already aligns with their beliefs, or to influence a policy position by changing a candidate’s mind. Stratmann argued this creates the possibility for corruption from special interest groups because it raises the question of why such groups are contributing.
“Stratmann’s findings show that $10,000 extra of political action committee contributions increase the likelihood of a vote change by 8 percentage points.”
Apparently, Stratmann’s next research project will provide data supporting the theory that submersion in water increases your chances of drowning.