Money Is Not Meant To Win Elections, Ideas Are

Back in the good ol’ days presidential candidates were judged not on how well financed their campaigns were, but by how sensible their ideas were. Today it seems the candidate with the most money wins. Unfortunately, the candidate who has the most money or is the biggest spectacle gets the most airtime and often that is a deciding factor in a candidate’s election.

As we get closer to the 2016 primary and eventually the general election, it remains a mystery why some candidates have chosen to continue in the race. Jeb Bush, for example, seems to have little to no chance of earning the Republican nomination, as he consistently polls at around 5%, not that polls really matter at this point. John Kasich’s poll numbers are even worse. In this case they reflect the unpopular ideas (Common Core, amnesty, e.g.) both Bush and Kasich, as well as a few others, are trying to advance.

The reason Bush is still in the race is because he still has money and he’s an establishment darling. Kasich also is an establishment candidate but without nearly the amount of money the RINO class has been willing to throw at Bush, so it’s curious as to why he is still in.

Chris Christie, another establishment candidate, has espoused some unfavorable ideas but he does well enough in debates which seems to keep his hope alive.

On the other hand, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson have some good ideas, make solid points about Hillary Clinton’s detrimental policies and don’t come from the normal stock of a politician, thus they’re considered outsiders. They have raised some money, but not Donald Trump kind of money.

Former candidates Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum have done the honorable thing and dropped out of the race. Interestingly, unknown and former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore continues to drift in and out of the race. Soon he’ll be the only one on the undercard and will be forced to debate himself.

There remain three serious candidates on the Republican side that have the potential to become the next US President: Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.

Rubio is a smooth talker, a polished debater and an establishment Republican. His ties to the “gang of eight” amnesty crew and quest for a path to citizenship for illegal aliens are troubling. He is probably the candidate most favored by the establishment.

Donald Trump is a successful businessman, billionaire and major media personality. He does love his country and truly wants to make America great again, but his antics and verbal put-downs of fellow candidates, journalists, pundits and even US Senators are unbecoming of a US President, regardless of how fond his supporters are of his politically incorrectness.

Ted Cruz is a different kind of candidate. He’s one who doesn’t quite fit the mold of a politician. He’s both an outsider and a member of the US Senate. His ideas are what most conservatives agree with and want in a president.

All three have something going for them. Trump has lots of money, makes bold promises and demands the most media airtime. Rubio debates with passion and a sense of urgency as if he’s giving the speech of a lifetime, which people are beginning to notice as annoying. Cruz is a solid debater, is always on his toes and can recall a great amount of specific information minutes after having received it, which will be useful in debating the Democratic candidate in the general election.

Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have ideas, too. Clinton wants to continue the failed policies of Barack Obama and Sanders wants to realize Obama’s dream, and his own, of turning America into a socialist utopia. Both Democratic candidates’ ideas will create an increase in taxes and a chaotic situation in a number of social industries, healthcare being the predominate one. Their ideas on foreign policy are also very concerning.

Clinton is supported by a willing media that still fawns over her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Financially she’s set since she’s got a treasure chest of funds that come from Wall Street donors, special interest groups, super PACs and huge speaking fees.

Sanders rails against Wall Street, special interests, lobbyists and super PACs. Most of his money has come from single online donors which he is very proud of.

When the field of candidates is narrowed down to one Republican and one Democrat, however, it will be interesting to see if money or ideas win.


Tom Folden is a political strategist, conservative author, and Editor-at-Large of, a website for conservative viewpoints. An original participant in the Tea Party, he takes part in pro-America rallies when his time permits. He is also a singer/songwriter and recording artist. For interviews and/or appearances, please contact him at

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