Regarding the “buying the election” talking point, it’s important to remember that plenty of self-funders spend a ton of money but go nowhere. Remember Tom Smith?
For the spending a lot of money strategy to work, voters have to like what you’re selling, and the message/policies you’re running on. And that -not the money, not the ads – is the lesson of the PA Governor primary of 2014.
Wolf was able to go on TV earlier than everybody else, and then no one was able to falsify those ads, or spoil what voters liked about him, so Wolf’s about to win. The money helped, but it wouldn’t have worked if he wasn’t also a compelling political candidate.
Would he be leading the pack (heh) if he didn’t have the money? Maybe not. But all the money did was get him the ear of the voters. Once he had their ear, he was able to do what so many self-funders can’t do – close the sale.