It’s been a long – really long – campaign, one full of twists and turns, gaffes and memes. As Americans head to the polls to choose between Obama and Romney, catch up on the story so far and stay tuned for the final chapter
President Barack Obama stood to benefit politically from making that statement in April 2012, but his inference is worth considering. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand reflected in 2011, “My own experience in Congress is when women are on committees and at hearings, the nature of the discussion is different, and the outcomes are better –- we reach better solutions, better decisions are made.”
$$$ and what are they spending it on
Over the past year, politicians have unearthed valuable bounties at each of the X’s here - in other words, each dot on this map represents at least one 2012 fundraiser contained in our Party Time database of invites. We’ve collected and logged almost 2,700 funders since January, and we haven’t even come close to tracking the total amount hosted (help us by sending your invites here!). This graphic exhibits just a fraction of the political fundraisers hosted, many of which were sponsored by lobbyists or special interests. It can be shocking to see how much money is actually raised - and possibly being used to influence your elected officials.
Explore political ad spending through creative cartography. This animated map shows where superPACs and other outside groups spent their money — over a six-month period during the general election — to air political ads aimed at influencing the presidential race.
A new interactive atlas that looks at the 2008 US presidential election precinct by precinct reveals how deep-rooted geographic trends still affect party affiliation.
There are red states, blue states, and, as the Nov. 6 election nears in the US, the indecisive “swinging purples.” But state- and county-level polls aren’t the whole story.
When presidential election results are examined at the level of individual polling places, subtler geographic trends emerge. Long-extinct transportation corridors and industrial centers remain deeply relevant determinants of voting trends in modern America. And looking at precinct-level data can illustrate the sometimes-stark political differences between adjacent neighborhoods in the counties thought of as simply “purple.”
The last time the tax code got a deep clean was 1986. Since then, it’s been clogged back up with deductions, credits, and loopholes that have made tax time a burden for individuals and tax decisions distortive for businesses. Eliminating many of these special carve-outs would pay for a reduction in tax rates, deficit reduction, or perhaps even both.
But the minute one moves from that vague goal of making the tax code simpler into the knotty questions of what provisions of the tax code ought to be eliminated, the broad consensus breaks down. Should the next president limit the mortgage-interest deduction, and if so, by how much? Should he end the charitable deduction? What about the tax-free status of employer-provided health benefits?
The reason for trying to fill Romney’s tax plan—as opposed to Obama’s second-term plan—is that you can try filling the shortfall with a mix of tax cuts and tax increases of various types. It explores the different party approaches and their feasibility for the current budget (setting aside the longer-term impact). WaPo and Ezra Klein offers three generalized packages but also the ability to select options in each category.
If only ballots included stuff like this, just for measuring support.
Deep-pocketed corporate moguls have captured most of the headlines this year when it comes to creative campaign giving, but the working class is showing it can play the same game.
The Supreme Court’s landmark 2010 decision in Citizens United gave unions, as well as corporations, the right to spend money directly from their treasuries to influence elections. An examination of independent expenditures by labor unions, captured by Sunlight’s Follow the Unlimited Money, reveals an interlocking web of donations to a plethora of super PACs, some of them clearly affiliated with the labor movement and others with vaguer sounding names. This is traditionally the time of year when unions emerge as major players in campaigns, as much of their money and manpower is usually devoted to get-out-the-vote efforts for their preferred candidates, generally Democrats.
Swing states: Ohiohttp://daily-infographic.tumblr.com/
Outside money is flooding into U.S. House races, primarily from party committees, but also significantly from dark money groups and super PACs. And though Democrats need to win 25 seats to take back the House (which most forecasters deem unlikely), nobody is giving up on anything, judging from the recent cash infusions.
Our National Data Happy Hour is starting now, you can tune in online here! http://www.sunlightlive.com/sunlight-foundation-data-happy-hour