In 1980, this elite segment of the population contributed a total of 16% of all campaign contributions. Today, it’s over 40% and heading towards 50%. Yes, already, close to HALF the money in American politics is coming from 0.01% of the wealthiest donors - that's around 25,000 compared to nearly 150 million registered voters.

This data reveals the elite takeover of American politics. Of course, there are people and organizations working to reform campaign finance, and as a non-partisan, objective political technology company, we at Crowdpac don't have views on that. What we do care about is democratizing the political process and putting power back where it belongs, in the hands of the people. And while we wait for any reform efforts to take hold, we believe there is a simple way to make change happen today, within the campaign finance system we have. And that is for more everyday Americans to contribute to political campaigns. It's a simple message: Don't just vote, donate.

We can take back control from the 1% of the 1%. Although the amounts spent in political campaigns seems huge when reported in the media, they are actually pretty small when compared to other things we all spend our money on. The amount of money being spent on politics and campaigns is not beyond what ordinary Americans are capable of contributing. According to the data, in 2014 Americans spent nearly twice as much money on potato chips as they did on politics, showing that when it comes to the political giving, relatively few Americans opt to participate.

Statistics like these bolster the argument that more citizens should get involved in the political process, not just by voting, but by donating to candidates who champion their issues and values. After all, if the 99% were to spend just a little more on democracy, and less on Doritos, we could make great strides toward putting politics back in the hands of the people instead of the elite.

But how does this money impact the 2016 elections? Find out details about the presidential hopefuls, compare candidates issue by issue, and see who gives them money by checking out our exclusive guide.

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