How campaign finance works

With the 2008 presidential election fast approaching, you’ve probably heard more about how much money candidates are raising than the issues they stand behind. This is because campaign finance is big business and one of the most important parts of modern elections in the United States, and increasingly, around the world.

In the 2004 U.S. presidential election, George W. Bush and John Kerry raised nearly half a billion dollars in private funding in their bids to win the White House. Total receipts for all candidates surpassed $850 million for the primary and general election. As of September 2007, the crop of hopefuls for the 2008 election has raised more than $420 million. Analysts expect that candidates will need to raise $500 million each in order to have a chance at winning the presidency