Did money really win the day in Wisconsin?

Opinion: Walker won thanks to solid organization, not just outside cash.


As politicos, we’ve all been there the following morning. Big win or big loss—it doesn’t matter. The campaign aides are sleeping off hangovers (good or bad) and the reporters are penning post-mortems.

The one theme I’m seeing throughout the mainstream media is that money won the day in Wisconsin. That along with the “Walker survives” headlines (if winning by seven points is surviving).

The stories are everywhere, and it’s a theme filling the Twitter accounts of Beltway journalists. Here’s one from MSNBC’s Luke Russert: “@lukerussert “Barrett gotta be singing this AM 'Oh why must I feel this way? Hey must be the money!' #Wisconsin"

So that’s the meme. I got it. Question: Where were all of the media stories claiming money was the big reason Barack Obama defeated John McCain in 2008? Obama outspent McCain in 2008 by more than $500 million. Didn’t see many, right?  

That’s because Obama was a historic candidate, raised a ton more money by taking advantage of fundraising laws, and simply ran a better campaign than McCain. Sound similar to last night? Walker raised a ton of money and ran a campaign that was better organized than his opposition. That’s why he won.

Now, I’m not saying the two elections were the same. I’m just pointing some big similarities. Yet the liberal media draws two very different conclusions. Shocking, I know.

@PhillipStutts is president of Phillip Stutts & Company, a political/grassroots consulting firm.


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