Politics and Corruption in the Gilded Age Questions and Answers

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Reformers never tired of exposing the corruption of Plunkitt and men like him. Why were they so popular with voters?  

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While reformers wanted to go after the party bosses and political machine leaders like George Plunkett and William M. “Boss” Tweed, these people were very popular with the voters. There are reasons for this occurring.

The leaders of the political machines helped people in need. Many of these people were poor, and the political machines provided them with various things that took care of their basic needs. If people needed help with getting food, the leaders of the political machine would take care of that need. If somebody needed a job, the leaders of the machine helped these individuals get a job. Medical care was provided for those who needed it. These people who were helped were very grateful for this help. They were reminded they could help the political machine by voting for their candidates on the day elections were being held. They were more than willing to help those people who had helped them. Thus, these people were very popular with the voters.

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