From its founding days, the American political system has been one plagued with the daunting process of electing a president every four years. To ease the uncertainties and difficulties inherent with the task, the political founders of the United States compromised to establish the Electoral College, an institution neither supported by most Americans nor completely democratic (Dahl 2003). Despite the distress often caused by a system that permits the election of a candidate not backed by at least a plurality, as occurred in the 2000 election and in three other instances, the Electoral College remains the method used to officially elect the president of the United States (Dahl 2003, 79).
[...] Nonetheless, “soft money” donations have been redirected to 527's who are exempt from federal campaign finance laws if they strictly engage in issue advocacy and not specific support for a certain candidate. In the 2004 election committee donations amounted to over three hundred million dollars, money that can have a major impact on the outcome of the election. To address this problem, legislation has been introduced to strengthen the FEC and to ban soft money from 527's. However, such legislation is likely to be subject to opposition and if it is enacted it will mean further reforms in upcoming elections (Baran 2004, 15-16). [...]
[...] While there has been a rise in the demand for reform and in regulations restricting spending, some belief further laws are necessary to achieve corruption free and completely democratic elections. With expenses for the 2004 presidential race approaching four billion dollars, there is increasing concern among the public and lawmakers. The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 was the first contemporary attempt to limit such federal campaign spending. The act specified the guidelines for individual contributions to federal elections, to national party committees, and to other distinct political organizations such as PAC's. [...]
[...] While having little impact on the outcome, this change reflects the importance of a strategic campaign able to target possible voters and their particular issues of concern. In addition, the Electoral College forces candidates to focus on specific states when campaigning, since it is not the total national votes that count but the amount of electoral votes received. Consequently, much time and effort must go into considering each state individually and addressing those issues of most importance to the voters in each particular state. [...]
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