Money is flowing freely into politics, despite the global recession. Top donors, like Michael Bloomberg and Charles Koch, are targeting competitive elections. North Carolina is ripe with opportunity for either party. From the record-breaking U.S. Senate race down to the suburban state House districts, the deluge of ads is doing more than just affecting voters.
New issues are cropping up in campaign speeches and debates. Once candidates know they have the reinforcement of ads paid for by issues-based organizations, issues like gun control can be more safely highlighted. While conservative donors focused their dollars on North Carolina state candidates in 2010 and 2012, left-leaning interest groups are now counterstriking. Women donors are leading the charge, chipping in record amounts, mostly toward Democrats as well as PACs pushing the conversation toward abortion access and gun control measures.
Host Frank Stasio explores how money tips the political scales in North Carolina with WUNC’s data reporter Jason deBruyn and Grace Haley, the gender and race researcher for the Center for Responsive Politics, which runs Opensecrets.org, a website making campaign finance records more easily accessible.