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Arment Dietrich

Six Percent

By: Arment Dietrich | July 11, 2007 | 
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It is not revolutionary to say fundraising plays a huge role in politics today. In fact, it plays such a large role that the media surrounding fundraising results can determine a candidate’s fate before they ever have a chance to use the money they raised.

Already, in the second quarter of 2007, more than six months before any election or caucus will be held, national media and campaign spokespeople are spinning the vast sums of money raised by presidential candidates as a sort of political barometer, to gauge support and determine who they think will become the nominees.

In 2004, it is safe to say, the singular victory in the Iowa Caucuses by Senator Kerry propelled him to primary victories in almost every other state, eventually securing the Democratic Nomination. Senator Kerry, and for that matter Senator Edwards, were vastly out raised by Gov. Howard Dean, yet finished in first and second place. The media forgets so quickly that spinning a candidates’ fundraising success did not influence the Iowan’s who actually caucused in 2004.

It is clearly the positions of each candidate, rather than their fundraising ability, that influences primary voters.  Historically, only the most dedicated, involved, and informed Iowans participate in the caucuses. Out of Iowa’s nearly two million registered voters, only roughly 124,000 participated in the nominating contest of January 2004. That comes out to just more than six percent.

Six percent of the people registered to vote in Iowa, arguably, chose the 2004 Democratic Nominee for President.

The pundits continue to proclaim Senator Obama, Senator Clinton, and Rudy Giuliani as the frontrunners. They continue to focus on fundraising success rather than the positions the candidates take on important issues.

It seems voters care about what a president will do in the oval office, not how much money they can spend to get there. Why don’t you just ask that six percent?  — Morgan Smith

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