ONE OF THE MAIN criticisms of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is that he is trying to buy the 2020 Presidential Election. Now, it is possible Bloomberg will get the nomination — not likely, but possible — however, saying he can “buy the election” remains complete nonsense.
This criticism has been most sharply given by Senator Bernie Sanders and his supporters, despite the fact Sanders has 21 delegates and is a close 2nd to getting the nomination meanwhile Bloomberg has no delegates and is tied for 6th. Odd if Bloomberg can buy the election he wouldn’t just give some money to have Bernie taken out of the race or something.
All this talk about people “buying the election” reminds me of when another New York City mayor ran for President, that being Rudy Giuliani in 2008.
Out of every Republican candidate, Giuliani was regularly outspending every candidate in the race. According to old data from Open Secrets, Giuliani raised $60.9 million and still ended up $3.5 million in debt. While that may not sound like much, keep in mind he was only running for about a year, entering in February 2007 and dropping out in late January 2008.
In fact, according to Open Secrets data, Giuliani spent basically that entire year spending more than he was raising. The only time he was in the black was during the time between 2006 and 2007 when he had formed an exploratory committee.
How well did the mayor do? He came in 8th, and was the only candidate who made to Iowa who also did not get a single delegate. Overall, he was beat by Senator McCain, Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Romney, Rep. Paul, Senator Fred Thompson, former Assistant Sectary of State For International Organization Affairs Alan Keyes, and Rep. Duncan Hunter — who withdrew 11 days before Giuliani.
This is not the only example of money not equaling electoral success. Sheldon Aldelson famously pumped enough money into House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s 2012 Presidential Campaign that he could run for another six months. Yet, Gingrich still struggled behind Ron Paul, Senator Santorum, and Governor Romney.
Funny these progressives do not even seem to remember what they caused. In 2018, the progressive darling Rep. Alexandra Ocasio Cortez defeated Rep. Joe Crowley — the Chair Of The House Democratic Caucus at the time — in a primary. If Nancy Pelosi were to ever retire, Crowley would be the leader of the house at the time.
Are we also just supposed to forget who’s the president right now? Donald Trump was outspend many times over by Sectary Of State Hillary Clinton back in 2016, and he still won.
The truth is, unless the ads in question are hypnotizing people in supporting Bloomberg, the odds of someone actually buying an election in the modern world is actually quite unlikely.
While it is true the person who spends the most does usually tend to win the election, that’s because the people who are the most liked get the most donations and as such have more money to spend. Being a good candidate creates a positive feedback loop that allows a candidate to have a better chance of winning the election.
This is a good thing, it creates a meritocracy system is as an important part of the democracy that progressives use to fight for. Yet, it seems like all the talk about Trump being a threat to our democracy is undermined when allowing people to vote with their wallet (which is not even close to related to voting at a ballot box, by the way) is ignored.