Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Florida Voter Up For Sale?

Sometimes I wonder if all the slogans and positions coming from the political campaigns is nothing more than window dressing for the vast sums of money pouring through the sieve of the national psyche. Is the U.S. electorate up for sale? I have to think so, given the effect of money on the up and down surges of the polls.

Barack Obama made a big deal of campaign reform before he found out that his name and image could earn big dollars. Now that he's changed his mind and opted out of public campaign financing, he can spend all the money he wants. The great shadow world of left-wing billionaires like George Soros dominates the political scene as money pours down into the Obama coffers like manna from heaven.

Case in point: Florida. Until recently, John McCain led in every poll taken in that state. Since June, however, Obama has moved ahead and even tied with McCain depending on whichever poll you look at. It's a moot point whether or not McCain has a slight edge. My point is that the Obama campaign is spending millions in Florida, and the money is having an effect.

Obama spent 5 million bucks on television ads alone during the period between June and late July. The Obama remedy for success in Florida is to just pour in the mnoney. That's a million bucks more than they've spent in any other state but, what the hell, it's only money.

How much did McCain spend in Florida during the same period? Zero, according to the Wall Street Journal.

We're still months away from the November election and both Obama and McCain need Florida's 27 electoral votes. The McCain campaign has to be much more judicious in how it spends its money and will save its efforts and its money for the weeks leading up to the election.

So far, each of the 27 electoral votes in Florida has been bid up to about 200,000 dollars. For the Obama campaign, there is not limit. It's likely that the cost per vote, in television ads alone, could exceed half a million dollars for each electoral vote. McCain cannot possibly hope to compete with those numbers and must rely on the ability of Florida voters to perceive him as the best candidate.

If Florida, or any other states are up for sale, the old-fashioned reliance on integrity, courage, experience, independence, and direct speaking may prove to be a failed strategy.

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