Happy Presidents Day: A Surprising Fact About What it Costs to Elect Them

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Surprising data point of the day via Mother Jones: The cost of presidential campaigns did not grow dramatically in the latter half of the 20th century (after the advent of television ad spending, I’m speculating). In fact, in 2011 dollars, 1968’s Nixon-Humprey-Wallace contest cost significantly more than the campaigns of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s:

What’s more, election costs mostly trailed inflation and GDP until the explosion of spending in the last two cycles. Now, this chart doesn’t include outside spending so it’s not the whole picture, but it’s fair to say that U.S. elections, even now with $1 billion price tags, are not radically more expensive than you’d expect given the last 50 years of history.

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