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Does Campaign Spending Matter? Ask Mitt Romney

In Freakonomics, we argued that campaign spending matters a lot less than people think. Mitt Romney‘s presidential campaign would seem to offer a fresh bit of evidence in favor of our theory.

Viewed in this light, Hillary Clinton‘s decision to loan her campaign $5 million looks like the wrong move. It isn’t the money that is boosting Obama. Rather, it’s the fact that he is a strong candidate that is attracting both the money and the votes.

Clinton also fired her campaign manager last week. At the moment, there’s no academic evidence on whether or not this action helps a candidate. I wonder if our sabermetric friends have done any research on whether firing a manager mid-season helps a baseball team? It is a difficult question to answer well, because the only teams that will fire their managers are those that have been performing worse than expected; as such, they might improve simply because of mean reversion.