Congressional Research Service. May 10, 2013.
There is a consensus that the presidential public financing program is antiquated and offers insufficient benefits to attract the most competitive candidates. No major candidate accepted public funds in 2012. In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama became the first person, since the public financing program’s inception, elected President without accepting any public funds. For some, these developments signal an urgent need to save the public campaign financing program that has existed since the 1970s; for others, they suggest that the program is unnecessary.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41604.pdf [PDF format, 6 pages].
Congressional Reserch Service. October 18, 2012.
This report considers contemporary developments in presidential elections. It emphasizes three topics chosen for their recurring importance and notable recent developments: (1) nominating procedures; (2) campaign finance; and (3) the electoral college. The report highlights significant developments in these areas, particularly for the 2008 and 2012 elections. It also provides background information about the presidential election process in general.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42139.pdf [PDF format. 56 pages].