In 2004, George Bush and John Kerry raised $700 million combined for their presidential campaigns. That was a record. A year ago, Barack Obama promised to limit himself to public financing, but changed his mind. This year, he alone has raised $650 million, and is outspending John McCain on TV in battleground states by a margin of four to one. Tonight, Obama will address the nation for 30 minutes in prime time on CBS, NBC, Fox, MSNBC, Univision and BET, all paid for by his campaign. But big money's not the only big story of this campaign. There are massive problems with early voting, especially in southern states. There are also questions about the integrity of the electoral system, like those in the 2004 elections, in which many states' official results did not coincide with surveys taken of voters as they were leaving the polls.
Evan Tracey, President, Campaign Media Analysis Group
Ken Silverstein, Open Society Institute
Bradley Smith, Center for Competitive Politics (@CommishSmith)
Chris Kromm, Institute for Southern Studies (@chriskromm)
Steve Freeman, Professor of Organizational Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania