While watching the late night coverage of the results from Super Tuesday, I was struck by two clear revelations. First, after a certain point, money means nothing. Second, all the political pundits, commentators, Political spin doctors and campaigns managers really have nothing of value about what will happen in the future.As the results poured in, previous predictions where shattered. The one prediction that refreshingly proved true was that every vote mattered and until they were cast, no one knew what was going to happen in this election. In the end Hillary Clinton was not the inevitable candidate with the unbeatable national recognition as predicted almost a year ago. Instead, Obama was able to close the major gap in most states, and in several, he was able to win.
On the other hand the surging tidal wave of momentum Obama had coming into Super Tuesday did not sweep Hillary aside. Despite closing major gaps across the nation, Obama lost California, New York, Massachusetts, and several other key states. When the dust had settled, the talking heads had gone to bed, and all the ballots were counted Obama and Clinton where left in a virtual dead heat. Both have a delegate count somewhere around 830+, not counting the all-important super delegates. All Super Tuesday cleared up for the Democrats was that this is very much an ongoing race and it will not be over anytime soon.
For the Republicans, Super Tuesday did a better job of settling the race but also raised some tough questions for conservatives. John McCain clearly won the night, making him the Republican front-runner. However, in most states all three candidates carried nearly a third of the vote and showed deep divides in the Republican Party and the conservative base at large. Mitt Romneys’ withdrawal from the race Thursday will help tone down the nastiness aimed at John McCain but clearly many in the party are not happy with McCain as their nominee and work will have to be done to bring them together as a party.
As for money, Tuesday was telling. Obama raised $31.2 million in January. Despite that huge surge of money he was only able to pull roughly even on the national scale with Senator Clinton. The Clintons’, on the other hand, already have wealthy friends and a money making machine in place from Bill’s time in office. Yet their established money generator was not able to crush Obama from the beginning.
On the Republican side, John McCain’s campaign was bankrupt this summer and most considered him as good as dead. Now he is the Republican front-runner and has all but locked up his party’s nomination, while his biggest and richest competitor Mitt Romney has bowed out of the race. Romney used at least $35 million of his own money alone to help finance his campaign in 2007. That does not include any money he contributed to himself in January of this year.
These events show us that as long as a nominee has enough money to get their message out there. They can succeed and win in our current political climate. It is not simply the richest candidate who wins. Nor the one who the pundits tell us is supposed to win. In this year’s election, it seems the winners are truly the candidates who represent the people who vote for them. In a change of pace many, more people are coming out to vote this year. So in the wake of Super Tuesday feel confident in the fact that this year your vote counts.
Ted Trevorrow is a third-year student majoring in English. He can be reached at ET666499@wcupa.edu..