OK, what can we learn from the results of the string of Democrat presidential primaries yesterday…
1.) This is an old one: It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.
Joe Biden, the Comeback Geriatric, was left for dead politically a week ago. The know-it-all pundits declared him road-kill under the wheels of Bernie Sanders’ steam-rolling revolution.
But as is so often the case, the “experts” who have never actually been in a campaign or run for office themselves, were wrong.
2.) The importance of a “ground game” ain’t what it was.
As Matt Viser, political reporter for the Washington Post, noted on election night…
“Joe Biden is mopping the floor in states that he never visited, where he opened zero field offices, and where he spent next to nothing on TV.”
Earned media, social media and message MARKETING are more important today than the vaunted door-to-door campaign.
Biden’s core marketing message going into South Carolina was focused on what the VOTERS wanted, not what he wanted. And they wanted a candidate they thought could beat Trump more than they wanted a socialist revolution.
3.) Third-party testimonials are powerful.
Going into South Carolina before Saturday, Biden capitalized on the ringing endorsement of Rep. James Clyburn to cement his comeback win there.
Then, going into Super Tuesday, he prominently featured endorsements from former challengers Tom Steyer, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke.
Those testimonials and endorsements swung a huge number of votes Biden’s way that wouldn’t have been there otherwise – especially in Klobuchar’s Minnesota.
Were quid pro quos involved in getting those endorsements? I have no doubt. But that’s just political hardball.
4.) Winning an election is about addition, not subtraction.
Biden added to his campaign coalition on Super Tuesday. Bernie didn’t. As such, we have a race again. At least for now.
BONUS LESSON: Money can’t buy you love.
Just ask Mike Bloomberg. $500 million to win…American Samoa.
A fool and his money are indeed soon parted.
Dr. Chuck Muth, PsD
THE CAMPAIGN DOCTOR
Professor of Psephology*
* Psephology (see-follow-gee): The study of campaigns and elections