Legislation, Presidential & Congressional Politics/Presidental


Do you need to have money in order to run for the president of the usa

There is no legal requirement, but it certainly helps to have money.

In order to be elected one must travel around and get the support of voters all over the country.  Doing that takes money to cover the costs of travel and advertising.  Successful candidates also hire a rather large professional campaign staff to develop strategy.  Most of the money to do this comes from the campaign donations of others.  

Under the law, the most a person can contribute to a campaign is $2000.  So in order to raise the necessary money, one must have the support of a great many contributors.  Many candidates often use their own money when they are getting started or at some early stage in the campaign when money runs tight.  Candidates who are already politicians may not have to use personal money if they have campaign funds from other offices that can be used.

In theory, one would not need to spend all that money on travel and advertising.  The voters could simply select a candidate based on news coverage.  But in practice, that is not possible.  On occasion, a candidate is very famous and can have a great deal of support without much campaigning.  For example, after Gen. Eisenhower won WWII, he was able to secure the Republican nomination and win the Presidency with little effort.  But those are rare exceptions.

Even in such cases, one needs would need to get on the ballot in State primaries, which can often require filing fees of several thousand dollars.  That money would have to come from somewhere.

Recent campaigns for President have cost over $1 billion per candidate.  Almost all that money is raised from contributors, but a candidate usually must have some personal funds to start, or a large fundraising base already in place.

I hope this helps!
- Mike  

Legislation, Presidential & Congressional Politics

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Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question about U.S. Political history, Constitutional law, the legislative process, elections, etc. I enjoy Presidential and Congressional historical trivia, but can answer more substantive questions too.


Former Staff member for a Congressman and Senator. I also worked on about 10 Congressional and Presidential campaigns (only one that won). For a short time, I worked in the legal department of the Federal Election Commission.    I have a B.A. in Political Science.

Former LBJ Fellow (paid fellowship for Congressional Staff).
Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honorary Society).

Washington Post
Washington Times

J.D. University of Michigan
B.A. George Washington University (Poli. Sci. major).

Awards and Honors
LBJ Fellow
Truman Scholar

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