Iowa is, of course, all over the news today — but what about the huge amounts of political money being spent to sell GOP candidates to Iowa voters? As we find ourselves at a time when poverty statistics are at or near record levels and millions of Americans remain without jobs, is anyone in the race talking about the fact that money is being extracted from our country rather than being put back into it?
As Ken noted, Rep. Ron Paul tends to stand out from the rest of the GOP contenders. “Ron Paul certainly has more of an isolationist foreign policy and economic policy… You’ll hear a little bit of an economic populist message from Ron Paul. That’s not really very consistent with the GOP orthodox. In fact, that’s one of the many ways in which he is outside of the GOP mainstream, and probably one of the things that will hurt him, if not in Iowa, then certainly as we go forward here in the nominating process,” said Ken.
“When it comes to the dysfunction in our economic system, and when it comes to the perception of America as a global military predator, Ron Paul seems to be the only candidate discussing these things. Why do you think no other candidate wants to deal with those issues?” asks Dylan.
Ned Martel said that Ron Paul’s message is more complex than those of the other campaigns. “Ron Paul likes to go into an historical context that dates back to the creation of the federal tax system, the Federal Rreserve system… and it’s often a level of complexity that you don’t see in the other campaigns, which tend to be sort of tonal, and say, ‘end of special interests, get the economy going again, but he has really specific radical ideas,” said Ned.
Also of note is that Iowa has been hit with over $16 million in advertising dollars heading into the caucuses.
As Ned described, “Iowa does offer a level playing field to candidates like Rick Santorum who didn’t have name ID or much of a chance to compete with these bigger names. That’s why these ads at the end, in the Des Moines market in particular, there were about $3.5 million spent just by those top candidates and top acts. We saw, as you mentioned Ron Paul and Rick Perry were the two top candidates in this market to spend about $1.5 million. Two PAC’s barraging money, one connected with Rick Perry, one connected to Ron Paul. Just doing these attack messages that really don’t have to do with how voters live their lives, but really trying to position in these last moments and make a final impression before people go to the caucus sites,” said Ned.