Thursday, September 19, 2002

The Thorp Test

Today's Commercial Appeal has the standard political-season story about how much the two major party gubernatorial candidates have raised so far this election cycle. I don't know why they run these things, as it's generally meaningful only to political junkies, but there you go.

Anyway, browsing the numbers (because, yes, I am a political junkie) it occured to me that I should apply Susan Adler Thorp's thinking to them! During the County Mayoral election she repeatedly and humorlessly pounded on George Flinn for funding his campaign with his own money. She claimed he was "buying" votes, although she could never quite explain the mechanism by which the votes were bought. I know I never received my check! And she also rakes him over the coals for the amount of money he spent. It's all very dire for her, but she assumes you know why and never bothers to outright explain things. Ah well....

So, looking at the Bredesen and Hilleary numbers, I have concluded that, by the SAT test, Bredesen is attempting to buy the election. He has raised $6.4 million and spent about $5.1 million so far. Hilleary has raised $4.7 million and spent about $4 million. Bredesen is outspending Hilleary by 25% -- nearly twice the Flinn-Wharton ratio! Not only that, but Hilleary has received contribututions from about 14,000 folks; Bredesen from only 11,000. So, Bredesen has the better-heeled contributors.

Clearly, he's the candidate of Big Money.

I look forward to the properly chastising column from Thorp soon.

Until next time.

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