The large amounts of outside and campaign spending in Maine races did not seem to sway voters in the Nov. 4 election. In two articles Professor of Government Anthony Corrado talked about the reasons spending amounts increased since previous elections—and why this spending did not necessarily impact the election results.
In a Morning Sentinel article, Corrado noted that “part of the high spending this year was a function of how competitive the race was.” Corrado cited a recent Supreme Court ruling that allowed independent PAC donations to campaigns: “I think given recent actions by the Supreme Court, you’re not going to be able to stop the flow of independent spending or this unlimited giving by some wealthy contributors. And no candidate wants to lose because they didn’t spend enough.” Read more.
In a Sun Journal article, Corrado spoke to the attack ads that were rampant in this year’s election: “In some ways, they also diminish the accountability of the candidate,” Corrado said. He attributed the relatively low impact of negative ads in Maine to voters in small local legislative districts having a more intimate knowledge of the candidates. According to Corrado, an attack ad may ultimately undermine the support for a candidate it was intended to help “either because of the content of the ad or simply because it’s seen as money coming from outside of the district or outside of the state.” Corrado thinks it is likely parties and PACs will not link the negative ads backfiring to the election results. Read more.