“Getting Elected in Nebraska” Released by Common Cause
- Gavin Geis
Common Cause Nebraska’s report, “Getting Elected in Nebraska,” documents how much money was spent in the 2014 election and what kind of impact that spending had on election results.
In a time of increasingly expensive elections, it has become clear that the amount of money a candidate can raise and spend has a substantial impact on their ability to win an election. Nebraska is no exception to this rule.
Conclusions drawn from examining the spending and receipts in the Governor and Unicameral elections include:
- Candidates who out-spent their opponents typically won their races. Of the 25 legislative races, 23 were won by the candidate who spent the most.
- Campaign spending has increased since 2010: 600% higher in the governor’s race and 135% in legislative races.
- Winners raise and spend more money than losers, and more of their funding comes from corporations and PACS (classified by the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission as Other Sources).
The report is based on candidates’ filings with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission and draws on data from both 2014 and 2010.
The 2014 election data suggests that money is closer to the heart of political success than we want to admit. We have to question whether Nebraska is moving from a system that elects the most capable and qualified candidate, to a system that elects the most capable fundraiser.