Thursday, February 07, 2008

money can't buy you love

Another money and politics post, this time on the folly of believing money alone can save a doomed candidate.

One of the most spectacular falls in all of presidential politics has to be Rudy. He spent $50M and got one delegate. And remember, as late as December, he had big leads in many big states and a national polling edge, and had raised more money than Romney (more on him in a second). Yet the more people saw him, the less people liked him. He got Joe Lieberman like support...despite big time endorsers. And in the end it wasn't his history of liberal positions on issues that spooked Republican primary voters, it was his meglomania and grating personality that did it.

The second biggest waste of money thus far was Willard Mitt Romney. He spent slightly over $1M per a delegate, and dropped out a few minutes ago. Romney won only two contested states--Michigan and Massachusetts. And both were only nominally contested by John McCain (and both of which Romney had spent nearly half his life in and a guy named Romney had been governor) All of the rest of his victories came in caucuses or straw polls where his money and lack of attention by the big boys allowed him to win big. Granted, he got close in Florida and Missouri and if he had won those (and Iowa and New Hampshire) he would have been the presumptive nominee. But he didn't, McCain won Missouri and Florida and New Hampshire (and lots of other big Blue States), so he is the GOP nominee to be.

Oh and Ron Paul raised a lot of money, but he can't seem to break out his 11% support box. Now his 11% are very ferverent and organized, and he certainly is no Dennis Kucinich or Mike Gravel, but he sure hasn't won a single state with all those millions.

So keep that in mind when you hear that Obama raised over $7M since Super Tuesday and Clinton raised over $4M (plus the $5M loan). Or that some Clinton staffers are "voluntarily" going without pay. Money isn't everything, delegates are everything.

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