Opinion: Money is the lifeblood of elections

by Kyle Evers | Columnist

Money is what makes the world go round.

Of course, this is not true in the physical sense, but when it comes to our everyday lives, money is one of, if not the biggest things that motivates our daily actions. Which, in reality, is beyond sad, but that is an issue for another article.

However, as we hurtle towards the upcoming election, it pays—no pun intended—to look at the role of money when it comes to paying for political campaigns and how the cash flow, or lack thereof, impacts the race.

Senator Kamala Harris of California dropped out of the presidential race on Dec. 3. According to the New York Times, Harris cited the lack of financial resources needed to continue in the race as her reason for dropping out. And this point of financial stability in presidential campaigns is a big one. With Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer both running for the Democratic nomination, there are now two billionaires competing amongst the rest of the field, not to mention the huge war chest that President Trump’s campaign has amassed for the upcoming campaign cycle. And money has become a major point of tension on the Democratic trail.

According to The Hill, Senator Elizabeth Warren has taken shots at both Steyer and Bloomberg, accusing them of buying their way into their election because of their wealth. And maybe she has a point. But the problem is, money runs every campaign and every election that occurs in this country—and that is the point. All of the current candidate’s campaigns run on money. If there is no money, as witnessed by the Harris campaign, the race grinds to a halt. And while Senator Warren can complain about the money factor all she wishes to, it is part of politics. In some ways, she should realize that, without money, her own campaign would cease to exist.

According to the Federal Election Commission, the Warren campaign has spent almost $70 million in the time span of 2017 to now. The Steyer campaign in the same time span, has spent over $200 million, currently the most by any Democratic candidate receiving public donations. And according to NBC, the Bloomberg campaign spent at least $40 million on the initial ad campaign. Overall Bloomberg has spent almost $190 million. Money is key to a successful campaign, no matter who you are. And this can be seen playing out in the current political field. Warren has taken major hits in both the Iowa and New Hampshire caucuses. According to Real Clear Politics, as of Feb. 11 Warren is currently polling at 12.4%, Bernie Sanders is polling at 23.6%, Joe Biden is polling 19.2%, Bloomberg is polling at 14.2% and Pete Buttigieg is polling at 10.6%.

So why should we care? The bottom line is that money can win campaigns. But it takes more than just money to bring voters to the table. All we have heard from Warren for the past several months is how she will create healthcare for all by taxing the rich, and this most recent statement comes across as if those who have money should not run because they have an unfair advantage. Welcome to politics. Rather than complain about other people, start focusing on the fact that you need money just as much as they do. Especially as Warren falls further behind in the polls, her attacks on the billionaires will begin to fall on deaf ears as voters turn to those who pay more attention to them rather than the other candidates.