Can’t Buy Me Votes

 

imageAfter Citizens United, leftist jeremiads foretold the death of democracy as Big Dollars™ took over our politics, ushering in an age of plutocracy, avarice, darkness, greed, and doom (for starters). So, how’s that going? Very badly, it seems.

According to the NYT, the Republican candidates have raised about $242 million in direct donations to their campaigns, and their PACs and Super PACs have brought in an additional $312 million. Jeb Bush — Jeb! to his closest friends — raised very nearly 40 percent of that latter figure ($123.7 million), which has, to date, earned him the support of a single delegate via 2.8 percent of caucusers in Iowa. It’s not shaping up much better for him in New Hampshire, where Real Clear Politics expects him to get about 10 percent of the vote. In terms of campaign donations, Bush has raised about $31 million, which puts him behind both Carson and Cruz and just a little ahead of Rubio.

Among the other Republican candidates, Cruz comes in second in both PAC and campaign donations — split fairly evenly — and has raised a total of about $90 million. Rubio has raised $77 million, also fairly evenly split between PACs and campaign donations. Ben Carson has raised an incredible $54 million in donations, but his PACs have relatively little. Donald Trump has raised $19.4 million in donations and has no associated PACs (Trump also has billions of dollars of money in his own right, in case you didn’t know). Christie has raised $26.7 million in total with, interestingly, very nearly the same lopsided PAC-to-campaign ratio as Bush (a little under 4:1)

Among the Democrats, the figures are simpler: Hillary Clinton has raised an enormous $115.6 million in campaign donations, with a further $48 million to her PACs (Citizens United be damned). In contrast, Sanders has raised $75 million in donations and has no associated PACs. The result: a dead heat in Iowa and a likely Sanders victory in New Hampshire next week.

To the extent there’s a pattern here … well, there really isn’t one. Rubio, Cruz, Carson, and Bush all seem to indicate that it helps to have a balance between your PAC and campaign donations, but Trump breaks that pattern. (Doesn’t he always?) Clinton’s numbers might indicate just how far money can get an unlikable candidate. (Or they might not.) But if money really were the factor they warned of — especially PAC donations — then Bush should have walked away with this, and Sanders’ campaign should be flailing around like his hair the morning after he ate something off.

Money can’t buy love, they say. Seems it can’t buy votes, either.

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  1. livingthehighlife Inactive
    livingthehighlife
    @livingthehighlife

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: Money can’t buy love, they say. Seems it can’t buy votes, either.

    But it keeps Mike Murphy employed.

    On second thought, who said money in politics wasn’t a bad thing?

    • #1
  2. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Oh, I don’t know. It bought plenty for Cruz and Rubio. While I’ve been hoping and praying this election puts the Mike Murphys out of business, let’s not forget that #1 and #3’s surge was greased with lots of wealthy donor cash, and lots of consultants and “messaging people” on the payrolls.

    • #2
  3. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Real question is whether it takes the teeth out of Hillary’s promise to get rid of Citizens United (to the extent that she still mentions it).  Problem is, leftists don’t respond to this sort of real-life contradiction of their theories.

    • #3
  4. Rightfromthestart Coolidge
    Rightfromthestart
    @Rightfromthestart

    Like all Clinton issues , Hillary wants to get rid of Citizens United to stop Republicans from raising money and running ads against her, but she has no intention whatsoever that any restrictions would apply to her.

    • #4
  5. The Question Inactive
    The Question
    @TheQuestion

    Of all the many reasons to be against Democrats, their desire to repeal the First Amendment should be at the top of the list.

    “Money in politics” is just advertising.  Nothing more and nothing less.  Leftists equate advertising with mind control.  If people can’t figure out that they are allowed to disagree with what they see and hear on billboards, yard signs, TV commercials, radio ads, etc., then we have a problem with education, not too much “money in politics.”

    • #5
  6. The Question Inactive
    The Question
    @TheQuestion

    Douglas:Oh, I don’t know. It bought plenty for Cruz and Rubio. While I’ve been hoping and praying this election puts the Mike Murphys out of business, let’s not forget that #1 and #3’s surge was greased with lots of wealthy donor cash, and lots of consultants and “messaging people” on the payrolls.

    I think that a lack of money can sink a good candidate, but it’s much more difficult for a lot of money to make a bad candidate attractive.

    If you make the most delicious chili ever, but no one knows it, they won’t buy it.  But if you have a massive advertising campaign for chili that tastes disgusting, people still aren’t going to buy it.  The product has to be good, and the message has to get out.

    A candidate has to have both some innate appeal and some resources to succeed.  An excess of one element won’t fix an absence of the other.

    • #6
  7. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Tom,

    For Jeb!

    For the Donald.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #7
  8. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    The Question:If you make the most delicious chili ever, but no one knows it, they won’t buy it. But if you have a massive advertising campaign for chili that tastes disgusting, people still aren’t going to buy it. The product has to be good, and the message has to get out.

    ^This. In other words: politics still works.

    • #8
  9. Vice-Potentate Inactive
    Vice-Potentate
    @VicePotentate

    Ryan M:Real question is whether it takes the teeth out of Hillary’s promise to get rid of Citizens United (to the extent that she still mentions it). Problem is, leftists don’t respond to this sort of real-life contradiction of their theories.

    Oh they care. It’s why Sanders supporters boo when Hillary comes on TV, but they let pragmatics dictate their actions. It’s why they forgave Obama for not using the McCain-Feingold money and why they will ignore the hypocrisy of the Clinton’s.

    • #9
  10. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    livingthehighlife:

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: Money can’t buy love, they say. Seems it can’t buy votes, either.

    But it keeps Mike Murphy employed.

    This election is revealing Mike Murphy as the amoral mercenary we always knew he was. You might as well light all this money on fire.

    • #10
  11. Manny Coolidge
    Manny
    @Manny

    I was a Jeb supporter at the beginning of this.  Yeah, I know, but I still think he’s the most qualified person in the field.  However, experience is just one element of this and you have to be inspirational, and Jeb lacked it.  Plus given he was a Bush he needed a higher standard, as he said himself, and he just doesn’t meet that standard.  It’s time for Jeb to give up.  At this point he’s pulling an anti Rubio scorched earth campaign that is detrimental to Rubio, who I believe has the best chance to win the overall election.

    Jeb should quit, endorse Rubio, and hope he lands the Sec of State job.

    • #11
  12. Sowell for President Member
    Sowell for President
    @

    This post makes a very good point. We should recognize, however, that all the candidates discussed here had national reputations from the start and were therefore able to raise money much more easily than a less known candidate. The bigger problem is that the existence of campaign finance regs favors the rich or famous, and squeezes out many other candidates who merit consideration and who sometimes are better qualified than the famous/rich candidates.

    • #12
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