Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
The final primary campaign spending totals are in, and the results say a lot about the candidates who ran.
The website InsideGov took official Federal Election Commission campaign spending numbers through the end of the primaries and combined them with overall vote counts to determine how each candidate ranked in “financial efficiency,” or how much each candidate paid per vote received.
The most “inefficient” candidate? Why, Lindsey Graham, of course. I know, I know. Did ANYONE vote for Lindsey Graham? Well, 5,623 souls to be exact, or enough to fill up a Columbia 1-AA football stadium. Since Graham paid a total of $5,700,248 for all those votes, or $1,013.74 per vote, he wins the prize for electoral waste. (I don’t know. If you told me you’d give me $1,013.74 to go to a 1-AA stadium to hear Graham speak, I’m not sure I could put myself through that, but that’s just me.)
At least Graham didn’t win the prize for fewest votes. That “honor” went to former New York Gov. George Pataki, who managed to convince 1,955 Walking Dead extras to pull the lever for him.
In fairness to Graham and others who exited the race early, generally those who invested a ton of money in the early primaries only to fail and drop out were by far the least efficient candidates. For example, Jeb Bush spent more than $35 million for 279,477 votes, or $126.70 per vote.
Conversely, the most efficient candidates stayed in the race longer. However, there are significant differences between these as well.
Bernie Sanders, given the fact that he was a relatively unknown commie from Vermont prior to the race, was a fundraising juggernaut once it became clear he could challenge Hillary Clinton. He ended up spending $227,412,247 for 12,797,701 votes, at a cost of $17.77 per vote.
Donald Trump rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were fairly efficient. Rubio spent $50,841,303 for 3,485,463 votes ($14.59 per vote) and Cruz spent $86,285,610 for 7,695,349 votes ($11.21 per vote).
The biggest spender overall, Hillary Clinton, spent a hair over Sanders at $230,172,869 for 16,473,239 votes, at a cost of $13.97 per vote.
Sure, that’s a LOT of votes in the Democratic primary between Clinton and Sanders alone, almost 30 million, but those votes cost almost a half a BILLION dollars.
Finally, there were two winners in the campaign frugality department, and both were Republicans. Trump spent $71,087,144 for 13,706,642 votes, at an enormously cheap cost of $5.19 per vote.
And sure, Ohio Gov. John Kasich may have spent slightly less per vote ($19,335,673 for 4,226,732 votes, at $4.57 per vote), but that’s just because he hung around WAY past when he should have quit. The fact is, Trump got far more bang for his “buck,” considering that he won a race almost nobody predicted him to win while spending far less than he technically should have.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say THAT’S the kind of financial wisdom I’d like to see in MY Commander-In-Chief!
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