Money and Political Stagnation

Money and Political Stagnation

Money is not the only gauge of political vitality, but in the case of both the Republican and Democratic parties, money reflects the general stagnation of partisan competition as the Reagan years come to a close. For the Republican National Committee, which in the late 1970s and early 1980s turned into a technological powerhouse employing an unparalleled army of operatives and consultants, 1987 marked the first significant decline in cash flow in over a decade.

The waning of the conservative movement, the Iran-contra scandal, the burgeoning federal deficit, and the conviction of former Reagan appointees on charges related to influence peddling, have all contributed to a loss of financial support, as revenues dropped from just over $38 million in 1985, the previous nonelection year, down to $32 million in 1987. This shortfall left the Republican National Committee in a weakened position as the presidential year began and this lack of funds could prove critically important in the upcoming federal elections.

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