[FoRK] Money and Campaigns Re: My sentiments exactly...

Dr. Ernie Prabhakar drernie at radicalcentrism.org
Fri Jan 22 16:28:17 PST 2010


On Jan 22, 2010, at 3:52 PM, Bill Stoddard wrote:
On 1/22/10 6:40 PM, Damien Morton wrote:
>> Elections are still decided on a one-man one-vote basis.
>> 
>> Money can buy you a lot of persuasive power, but it wont buy you a vote, per se.
> 
> You underestimate the power of a well run propaganda campaign.

Are you sure? The data seems to imply we overestimate it:

http://www.mfw.us/freakonomics-money-elections

> Here’s the surprise: the amount of money spent by the candidates hardly matters at all. A winning candidate can cut his spending in half and lose only 1 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, a losing candidate who doubles his spending can expect to shift the vote in his favor by only that same 1 percent. What really matters for a political candidate is not how much you spend; what matters is who you are.

Has anyone refuted this analysis?

Sure, if by "well run propaganda campaign" you mean brilliant and compelling marketing -- not just a lot of ad buys --- then your point may well hold.  But in that case the key factor is really the wisdom to use money wisely, which is much harder to "buy".

-- Ernie P.


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