So far this year money is not successful in buying elections
Conventional wisdom holds that those with the most money win elections. Assuming that polling is accurate, this year is turning that notion on its head. The Rachel Maddow piece in this blog post shows a completely different reality, a reality that may eventually scare millionaires and billionaires intent on controlling our electoral process. Their money may not purchase most politicians anymore.
Rachel Maddow pointed out that Jeb Bush spent north of $38.1 million dollars.
Maddow said that Jeb Bush has spent more than all the 2011 candidates combined, $38.1 million vs $35 million, on ad spending. So far this year total presidential election spending has eclipsed $111 million.
Interestingly, the amount of money spent on ads thus far does not correlate with the poll ranking of the candidates.
This seems counter-intuitive. Just like a virus or bacteria gets resistant to a drug, could the electorate be getting resistant to ads and other paid political techniques? The answer is probably mixed. Money may make a difference on the margins. But most importantly, having a messenger that can connect to an audience is the coup de grace.
With the advent of the Internet and social media, that connection creates organic virality that for all practical purposes is free. That is why Donald Trump can spend so little and get such deep penetration (of course free news media coverage helps as well). Trump creates his own virality. Paid attack ads fail because he is connecting with a certain segment of his base that he has 'educated' before he was a candidate over the last few years (Birther movement, and other types of hate mongering).
One hopes that most of the population is becoming more educated, not with Trumpisms, but with reality based issues. Money will not work on an educated populace who knows and understands the issues.