5 realities of the 2016 election that have turned conventional political wisdom on its head

5 realities of the 2016 election that have turned conventional political wisdom on its head
Credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

1. Money trumps all (pun intended).

When the Supreme Court ruled in the 2010 Citizens United case that corporations were people and therefore could spend unlimited amounts of money – without disclosure, in some instances – on political campaigns, Democrats and other critics warned that democracy was now for sale and that the candidate who raised the most money would invariably prevail over less well-funded contenders…. Donald Trump … may be wealthy – just how rich remains in dispute – but he has spent less overall than any other candidate and, because of the nonstop coverage his slurs and antics have received, virtually nothing on TV advertising.

2. Organization is everything.

Ted Cruz was supposed to win all the early GOP contests because of his heavy investment in his “ground game.” But, with the exception of Iowa – which he first visited in 2008, only months after being elected a first-term senator from Texas – organization, like money, has meant little this year. Cruz won Iowa thanks to a large evangelical turnout after Trump skipped what turned out to be a critical debate days before the nation’s first caucus, but he has steadily faded ever since.

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