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  • Edexcel Component 3, Section 5.1.2: Campaign finance

  • AQA Component 3.2, Section The electoral process and direct democracy: factors determining electoral outcomes

Background: what you need to know

The article reviews the state of US campaign finance. In a political system where money is of paramount importance, it is noteworthy that the Biden team has so far raised more than twice the amount available to Donald Trump.

The article is also useful for studying divisions within the Republican camp. Some potential donors are wary of handing over money that may be used to pay Trump’s legal bills in the various court cases that he is facing. These traditional Republicans also tend to be critical of Trump’s strident political tone and isolationist positions. The ex-president’s supporters, on the other hand, regard the law suits as a distraction engineered by his opponents to damage his re-election bid.

Click the link below to read the article and then answer the questions:

The Trump machine: the former president’s dash for campaign cash

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 2

  • Explain and analyse three ways in which campaign finance has caused controversy in recent US electoral politics. [9 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 3A

  • Evaluate the view that campaign finance has weakened the democratic process in the US.

    You must consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30]

    TIP: The article refers to super Pacs — make sure you know about their role in US politics. You should also investigate the reasons why it has proved so difficult to reform the rules surrounding campaign finance.

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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