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China Daily Website

Money talks in US election

Updated: 2012-07-16 07:28
( China Daily)

It was not the grassroots that helped Barack Obama to win the presidential campaign in 2008, but the money he raised from them. The "rich" Obama spoke much louder than the "poor" John McCain in the election four years ago.

When Mitt Romney emerged the winner in the primaries, money, again, played the most important role.

The Occupy Wall Street movement, with its slogan "We are the 99 percent", has emerged because of the growing income inequality between the wealthiest 1 percent and the rest of the population in the United States. Some thought its message might halt Romney's presidential bid, as he is of course a member of the 1 percent, but it seems that the opposite is in fact the case.

According to research from Xiamen University, during the 11 most active weeks of the Occupy Wall Street movement from Sept 17 to Dec 2, 2011, the number of reports in the three mainstream US newspapers - the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and USA Today - concerning the three remaining Republican candidates at that time - Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul - differed tremendously. The number of news articles that mentioned Mitt Romney (and his wealth) during this period was three times more than the number of reports mentioning Newt Gingrich and seven times the number of reports mentioning Ron Paul.

Money cannot buy everything, but it has given Romney his shot at the presidency.

Xu Wenyan, via e-mail

(China Daily 07/16/2012 page9)