Thursday, March 06, 2008

Obama Raises More, Spends More, Loses More, Maybe Money Doesn't Matter

Yesterday it was reported that in the month of February Barack Obama raised 55 million dollars, breaking the record of fundraising in one month, compared to Hillary Clinton's less great 35 million. The Clinton campaign is responding by emphasizing the fact that they've raised 4 million dollars in two days since her wins in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island.

What I believe is of greater interest is that in Ohio and Texas, Obama outspent Hillary by nearly two to one, and he still lost by bigger margins then the most recent polls had indicated. The ratio of money spent and votes received clearly favoured Hillary Clinton in those two states.

From the New York Times:

In Texas, Mr. Obama had spent $5.1 million as of Tuesday, compared with Mrs. Clinton’s $3.1 million, said Evan Tracey, chief operating officer of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks advertising spending.

In Ohio, Mr. Obama had spent $2.4 million, Mrs. Clinton $1.3 million.
In Rhode Island the ratio is even higher with Obama spending $311,000 to Hillary Clinton's $130,000. Now this by no measure means Hillary is so good she can spend less, because in Vermont, Obama spent $256,000 to Clinton’s $63,000 and she lost by 20 points. What this means is that money did not play a significant role in those four races.

Clearly both candidates can raise money, but its evident, at least in the four last contests, that money wasn't a factor. What may determine who wins this Democratic candidacy is who can learn what doesn't work and, more importantly, who can learn what does.

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