Sunday, April 20, 2008

Does money really matter?

One of the eternal questions that the Pennsylvania democratic primary may final answer is whether money really matters in politics. Actually, the primary won't definitively answer the question, but it may offer some clues. The key here two facts: 1) Hillary is expected to win, and 2) Barack is outspending her by an astounding margin of about 2 to 1.

If money alone could tilt an election, surely a 2 to 1 margin would do it.

And surely the "excitement" over Barack and his "message" is plenty of "icing" on that 2 to 1 money "cake."

And, Barack has had six weeks for all of that money to work its "magic."

If Hillary prevails by more than a narrow margin (more than 5%), that would seem to strongly suggest that effort and "message" can prevail over money.

If Hillary prevails by only a narrow margin (5% or less), that would seem to weakly suggest that effort and "message" can somewhat prevail over money, but somewhat suggest that money can somewhat diminish a lead. Then again, it may have been the "powerful" message that was more effective than the money itself.

If Barack wins by a modest margin, that would seem to weakly suggest that money can somewhat overcome effort and "message", but having a "powerful" message may have been as significant a factor as the money alone.

If Barack wins by a wide margin, that would seem to strongly suggest that money can clearly overcome effort and "message." Even then it is still debatable whether maybe the "powerful" message really did prevail and that the money was only a minor or moderate factor.

I am hoping that Hillary will win big simply to convince people that you can win in politics without a financial advantage. If Barack wins, we have this fairly clear message that anyone who wants to win needs to raise vast sums of money, no matter how "powerful" their message. For a candidate who seeks "change" and deplores the "game" of politics played in Washington, that would be a truly horrible message for him to be sending to the American people.

For the record, I have never contributed even one dime to any political campaign, nor do I support "public funding" of political campaigns. The less money spent, the better for everyone. I would support a ban on political and "issue" ads for both TV and radio. Personally, I think media coverage of public campaign events is more than enough exposure. Not to mention televised debates. Does anybody think I am wrong in this approach?

-- Jack Krupansky


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