The Changing Money Game
Presidential nominations began changing in the 1950s and 1960s, becoming more “candidate centered.” Candidate-centered campaigns focus on the individual candidate who aspires to become the face and image of their political party. Conducting such a candidate-centered campaign became much more expensive after the reforms of the 1970s, which forced candidates to seek the support of millions of caucus and primary voters. 1 The high costs of presidential nomination campaigns advantage candidates who can raise money. It also provides an opportunity for party stakeholders to tilt the playing field in favor of their preferred candidate. Coordination among party stakeholders can help a candidate gain a competitive advantage in the campaign by helping that candidate raise more money. A candidate with more money can run a more professional campaign and advertise to reach large numbers of voters.