As the saying goes, money can’t buy you love. Nor can it necessarily buy you an election.
It helps. But just because you’re going to be massively outspent by an opponent doesn’t mean you can’t win.
Consider the case of Michael Bloomberg, a recently-minted Democrat candidate for president, and one of his opponents, Tom Steyer.
Last week, David Wright of CNN Politics listed the TV ad spends for the Democrat candidates through December 17, 2019.
Bloomberg spent a whopping $100.6 million. Steyer shelled out a staggering $81.2 million.
By comparison, their closest rival, Bernie Sanders, spent $8.6 million. Joe Biden, $2.2 million. And Elizabeth Warren, $1.9 million.
Now, according to the latest poll numbers released today by NPR/PBS/Marist, Biden is at 27.5%, Sanders at 19.7% and Warren at 16.5%.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg is way behind at 4.8% and Steyer is in the basement at 1.2%.
Longtime GOP strategist Rich Galen noted yesterday that Steyer’s money “has bought him the same percentage of voters (one) as Michael Bennet and Julian Castro.”
Make no mistake. Money IS important.
But it’s not necessarily necessary for you to match your opponent dollar-for-dollar. You just have to raise ENOUGH money to be credible and viable. And run an effective campaign.
Alas, dumping a boatload of cash into TV ads that almost nobody watches, and fewer pay attention to, no longer appears to be the magic bullet so many “professional” campaign consultants think it is.
Just ask Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer.
Dr. Chuck Muth, PsD
THE CAMPAIGN DOCTOR
Professor of Psephology*
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* Psephology (see-follow-gee): The study of campaigns and elections