The Citizens United Election? Or Same As It Ever Was?

In this article, Michael M. Franz analyzes the effects of campaign advertising on elections with a focus on the 2010 mid-term campaigns. So what impact did the easing of restrictions on independent spending, as a result of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, have on the process and outcome of the 2010 mid-term elections? This popular question, which Franz attempts to answer in this analysis, has been asked by supporters and opponents of campaign finance regulation alike. Using data from the Wesleyan Media Project, Franz was able to determine that an increase in political activity by interest groups did not have the negative or large impact that was predicted by many opponents of the Citizens United decision. Ultimately, Franz echoes many skeptics of campaign finance reform by calling for a scaling back of limits on political parties, so that the groups that are designed to facilitate democracy may do so more easily.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.