One of the main arguments against Mike Huckabee has been his lack of funds. Someone, the argument goes, will have to outspend Hillary to win the generals, and because Huck ticks off those oh-so-wealthy fiscal conservatives, he won’t stand a chance.
If Indianapolis is any indication, money doesn’t buy elections. Republican Greg Ballard defeated the two-term incumbent Bart Peterson in what people are calling “the greatest upset in Indiana political history.”
Ballard, a 52-year-old retired lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps, didn’t have much money and didn’t have the support of party insiders or the business community. But he had something better: votes.
With votes from nearly all of the city’s 917 precincts tallied, Ballard was ahead by almost four percentage points. Peterson called him shortly before 10:30 p.m. to concede.
Only a few months ago, Peterson was expected to cruise to an easy re-election to a third term. But voter anger about rising taxes and crime blew massive change into the City-County Building, from the mayor’s office to the council, where Republicans also recaptured the majority they lost four years ago…
Ballard was massively outspent by Peterson in this election.
Ballard, though, had said throughout the campaign that the issues, and not money, would decide the race, and Tuesday night he was proved right.
“Money can’t buy me love,” he said. “but it doesn’t buy elections either.”
Mike McDaniel, a former Indiana Republican Party chairman, said the lack of financial support means Ballard “doesn’t owe anybody anything.”
“Instead of an inaugural ball, he ought to hold an amnesty ball” to extend forgiveness to those party and business leaders who didn’t help his campaign, McDaniel said.
It’s almost the exact same scenario for Mike Huckabee, and it’s a decisive example against those who think money is the indicator of success in politics. It helps if you can get it, but it’s not everything (as Ron Paul will doubtlessly discover when the votes are actually being cast). This isn’t a two-man race yet, and won’t be until the votes are cast.