We can all tell when it's election season. Canvassers pour into our neighborhoods and public spaces. Campaign signs pop up on front yards, fences, windows, and buildings. Phones ring with volunteers (or robo-calls) eager to share how so-and-so candidate only wants the best for our country. Our favorite TV shows are interrupted by smear ads and soft-spoken placements that say, "Vote for me. I'm just like you." And, of course, there's the nonstop election coverage, which is ... well, no comment.
All of that costs money — so much of it that, in order to stand a chance at winning a Senate seat, for example, a viable candidate can't spend time hearing from people who aren't major campaign donors, let alone folks who need and deserve more representation in the halls of Congress. The graphic below shows you what we're dealing with.
FACT CHECK TIME!
We found slightly conflicting data on the amount of money spent by winning candidates. The graphic above shows that winning Senate candidates in 2010 spent an average of $9.8 million, but OpenSecrets logs that figure $8.3 million.
The fact remains that this situation is unfit for a democratic society. Can voting change it? Maybe. Maybe not. But it's clearly going to take a lot more. And here's one of the most exciting possibilities we've seen.