Election spending about quality, not quantity | Rich Elfers’ Politics in Focus

The 2012 election was the most expensive political war in American history. Republicans and Democrats spent $6 billion on all the campaigns - presidential and congressional and on the state level.

The 2012 election was the most expensive political war in American history. Republicans and Democrats spent $6 billion on all the campaigns – presidential and congressional and on the state level.

In the Presidential race, Obama supporters contributed almost a billion dollars and for Romney, a little more than a billion.

The 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision created independent super PACs. Conservative super PACs spent more than $330 million to defeat Obama, while Democratic Super PACs spent almost $98 million to defeat Romney. All the money spent, however, did not have much of an influence in deciding the election.

The Republicans still control the House of Representatives, the Democrats still control the Senate and the president is still Barack Obama.

Money matters, but only to a certain extent. After a point, it’s like nuclear war. A nation can increase the number of nuclear weapons in its arsenal, but a city can only be destroyed once. All the extra nukes and all the money above that point spent on preparing for a war and on campaigns are wasted.

A lot of money was spent on the battleground state of Ohio, with 207,518 TV campaign spots televised there alone. What both sides need to realize is that there is a point when that level of saturation ceases to be effective and voters tune out the ads.

In Washington state, Democrats also won the governorship and continued control in both state houses. Part of the reason is that Jay Inslee and other Democratic candidates were able to ride to election wins on Obama’s coattails. Control of the government on the state level did not change either.

Republicans need to broaden their demographic base. Winning only the votes of older, white males will not win Republicans elections. Republicans lost women, blacks and the Latino votes by large margins. They also lost the 18-29-age vote. Money doesn’t matter when a large number of demographic groups are alienated.

The structure of the Republican primaries forced Romney to move to the right to win the primaries and then to shift to the middle during the first debate to win the majority of voters. A lot of Republican money was spent on convincing their base that Romney was the best candidate.

Most voters in this country are center right. It

s the moderates and independents who decide who the president is going to be, not the base. Team Obama was able to use the “flip-flop” between the primaries and the general election to argue that Romney had no central core values.

Because Obama didn’t have to compete in the primaries, he didn’t have to deal with contradicting himself to win his base and then switch to win the middle. The Democrats saved a lot of money in the process.

To win his conservative base, Romney had to come out against the federal auto industry bailout. That comment alone cost him Ohio and the election.

Although Obama was outspent, his team’s strategy was more effective. Romney primarily fought an air war with TV ads with “only” 300 field offices, while Obama fought the war on the ground with approximately 800 field offices. Obama used the Internet far more effectively than did Romney. He got a bigger bang for his buck.

In conclusion, while the campaigns spent more money in history during a presidential election cycle, the outcome pretty much ended where it began. Money is important, but only to an extent.

After a point, organization and direct contact with voters seems to be what wins national elections. The candidate who reaches out to a broad range of voters gives himself a better shot at winning the election.

Even though the election ended where it began, it did pump $6 billion into the nation’s economy. Finally we got a bipartisan stimulus program that both sides supported.

More in Opinion

Poking dead things with sticks

They don’t mince words when they call it a “crawl space,” do they?

America is denying three hard truths

There are three major hard truths that our current government has been denying with great vigor: The Mueller Russia-U.S. Presidential election connection investigation, the war in Afghanistan, and the growing national deficit.

Promote the common good by ensuring individual liberty

Citizens following their passions and dreams improve the lot for all.

The three personas of President Trump

There’s Teleprompter Trump, Raw Meat Trump and Twitter Trump.

Carbon pricing won’t help environment, but will hurt taxpayers

How would a Washington carbon tax make a difference in the world “climate?”

It’s never enough

Based on numbers from the legislature, Enumclaw School District will be receiving huge funding increases from the state. Yet here we are with Enumclaw and a bunch of other districts telling the taxpayers, give us more, we need more.

Why are trailers allowed at Expo Center?

When my husband and I moved to our home in 2001 and for every year after the Expo Center grounds have always been pleasant to look at on your way to our home. No longer is this true.

A small act of kindness can make a big impact | SoHaPP

Join SoHaPP’s book group this February to discuss “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio. Don’t have the book? Check it out at the Enumclaw Library or visit The Sequel.

Vote ‘yes’ on replacement Education Programs levy

As a high school senior that has spent the entirety of my school life in Enumclaw, I know we have to take it upon ourselves to ensure the efficiency and inclusiveness of our school system.

Concern for common good is buried by greed

Tell big lies long and loudly enough and people will believe you.

Enumclaw boys, join the scouts

Troop 422 here in Enumclaw has taught me these things, and it has allowed me to be able to incorporate these things into my own life.

Concessions may be needed to enact carbon pricing

This is the sixth year Gov. Jay Inslee will try to convince lawmakers that the best means of fighting climate change is by making it more expensive to pollute.