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The Uncertain Future of the Presidential Public Financing System

By Audrey Perry
July 03, 2008
The future viability of the once robust presidential public funding system is now questionable. First implemented in 1976, the system has helped presidential candidates focus less on fundraising and more on campaigning, and given major-party candidates enough money in the general election to finance their campaigns. In the 2008 election cycle, however, only one major candidate, Senator John Edwards, received public funding during the primary election. Furthermore, it is possible that at least one major-party nominee will not accept the general election public funds in 2008—for the first time since the system began in 1976....