If you have read my previous posts, you know I think money accrues to the most popular candidate, rather than makes them the most popular candidate.
One of the reasons I think that is the case is primaries. We are going to have a test right now in Iowa.
If money buys you an election, then if you spend more money than other people in an primary, you should win it - even if the other guy collected more money from that state. But if money goes to the popular guy, then people that spend all of their nationwide collected money on the first primary will still not win. Another possibility is that money has neither affect. So lets check the numbers.
Lets' assume that people give as much to the actual candidate they prefer as to a Super Pac that supports them. Not a definite fact, but a reasonable assumption.
So we need to see how much each candidate RAISED in Iowa, as opposed to spent there:
(Comparison purposes: Obama $165,603)
Note, that is not a lot of money. It does not include the money given to Super Pacs that support a candidate - which unlike direct contributions are effectively private - no one knows who gave to who.
More importantly, is in fact far less than than MILLIONS they spend in Iowaw, estimates are they spend about $11 million in Iowa - mainly because it is the first primary.
Using this method, (as opposed to my last post that attempted to determine who will win by looking at their supporters), Gingrich comes in last, instead of the potential leader. Note, Gingrich has been severely lacking in cash raised in part because of a early problems with his campaign (mass quits). that may be anomaly, that we may ignore for the most part.
Now lets look at time in state. Visits take the candidate's most valuable and irreplaceable commodity: face time. This indicates how badly the candidate thinks they NEED to win the state.
Romney: 14 trips
Clearly Santorum wants it bad. He has publicly stated that if he comes in last, he will quit. It looks like this is working out - his standing in the polls is rising in Iowa. Bachmann needs Iowa almost as bad - without an early strong showing in the primaries, she knows her campaign will end quickly. Romney, Paul and Gingrich are feeling secure. Perry prefers to spend cash rather than time(see below). Apparently Perry believes you can buy an election. We will find out.
We won't know real spending totals in Iowa till January, as unlike trips and fund raising, you can easily spend a wad of cash last minute. Worse, they tend not to break down spending by state. That said, most of the current spending is concentrated on Iowa (with Florida close behind), and nationwide, the spending is as follows: ((Source for above and below):
Romney: 0.6 million
Paul: 1.1 million
Bachmann: 0.1 million
Perry: 1.6 million
Gingrich: 0.1 million
Santorum is short on cash nationally. He is hoping the face time will make up for cash.
Clearly, if money buys an election, then Perry will be the winner, followed by Paul, then by Romney. If face time is that important, than Santorum, Bachmann, then Perry.
If fund raising is the indicator, rather than spending, Romney, Paul, and Bachmann.
I think fund raising is the indicator, but that Gingrich messed up earlier. As such, I think it is going to be Romney, Gingrich and Paul in the top three, with Bachmann behind.