The relationship between money and politics is a central concern to scholars and casual observers alike, especially when it seems to have such a pronounced impact on the electoral landscape in America. Conventional wisdom suggests that money affects politics: whether via lobbying or through elections, big money exerts too much influence in the political process. But academic research has only found mixed results to support these conclusions. Robbins's book reexamines this influence in light of the dramatic changes in federal campaign finance rules, which have made it possible for large donors and "SuperPACs" to exert influence on the political system in potentially dramatic ways. Robbins argues that SuperPACs provide a quality subsidy for marginal candidates, giving otherwise uncompetitive or unqualified candidates a better shot at winning office. This book examines the SuperPAC network structure and their potential for affecting electoral outcomes in the wake of the landmark Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. This new political environment has important implications for the political system with respect to political competition and electoral accountability.In a timely analysis, this book contributes to our understanding of who runs for political office, the role of SuperPACs, and the applications of social network analysis to determine political influence in the electoral process.
Campaign Finance and Electoral Competition