Don't Follow the Money
Wash Times talks to former Howard Dean campaign hero Joe Trippi and others about early dollars and polls:
"Historically, the amount of money raised in the preprimary cycle has not been a good indicator of who wins the nomination," said Mr. Trippi, an adviser to former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.
"Why so much attention by the press?" he said. "They can only report on two things at this early juncture in the race—polls and who's winning the fundraising race, neither of which, by the way, is a good indication of who wins."
In the 2004 Democratic race, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut "led in all the early polls in 2003 and Dean led in the money race by a wide margin, but neither of them came in first or second in the number of delegates at the convention in 2004," Mr. Trippi said.
"In 1984, former Vice President Walter Mondale had all the money in the world and a guy by the name of Gary Hart, who had message and not much money at all, beat him in the primaries and actually won more convention delegates. It took the party's superdelegates to put Mondale over the top," he said.
This is not to say that strategists and analysts think money is an irrelevant factor in who wins next year's caucuses and primaries. Rather, they argue that the amount of money raised this early in the two-year marathon process is not a reliable basis on which to forecast who will be the strongest candidates in the state-by-state contests to come.