Both campaign contributions and media coverage has significant power to determine the success of a presidential candidate, and each of them seems to be interconnected with each other. The media has the power of fast deliverance of information, reproducing to an audience of mass quantity, and ability to distort the candidates’ authenticity. Though it largely relies on the campaign contribution that gets the attention of the media. However, it is the media that is more important in determining the likely success of a presidential candidate because of their coverage on a stimulating competitive race, complexive variety of biases, and techniques on issue framing.
There are claims that perceptions of public support bring with them financial contributions. News emphasizing who is ahead or behind, gaining or losing, is the primary cause of how people “develop perceptions of the extent of mass support for candidates” (Mutz 1015). One way in which media portrayals of public support are important in determining the nature of campaigns is through their “influence on candidates’ abilities to attract contributors and ultimately, to finance a competitive race” (Mutz 1016). By encouraging mass fundraising efforts aimed at attracting many small donations from large number of individuals, “changes in campaign finance regulations have further enhanced the importance of mass media in the process” (Mutz 1016). In the 1988 Democratic primary and pre-primary period, all the presidential nominations needed money and “greater visibility to create viable campaigns” with no clear front-runner (Mutz 1016). According to Diana C. Mutz, money matters most when there are a large number of “low viability candidates” just as in that period (Mutz 1016).
Campaign contributions from political action committees are often portrayed in the media as the equivalent as bribes. Thus, Steven Stockmeyer, former director of the National Association of Business PACs, claimed that “business PACs receive a higher proportion of negative media coverage” (Milyo 75). An opinion poll by the Center of Responsive Politics revealed that “most respondents support an outright ban on PAC contributions” (Milyo 75). Much of this mistrust results from the lack of knowledge about PACs. The same poll showed that “41% of respondents were that contributions to candidates are limited by existing laws, while only 4% of respondents knew that current law already prohibits corporate contributions to candidates” (Milyo 75). These statistics displays how the wisdom of money also plays a “dominant and nefarious role in American politics” (Milyo 75). Advocation that corporate PAC contributions are bribes is a “simplistic and exaggerated view” that plays on public ignorance (Milyo 75). Although campaign contributions can determine the success of a presidential candidate, it has some discrepancies that can factor in as well.
It is ultimately the individual decisions about a candidate that matters. Some media mediums...