Cost Per Vote By Candidates In Special Election Primary - Bookout's Seat

Candidates Who Spent the Least Money Per Vote Won Primary J


Following are excerpts from Jonesboro Sun editorial by the editor, Chris Wessel, but are not in the order given in the paper.   The two GOP candidates who will be in the Run-Off November 12 are John Cooper (1,177 votes) and Dan Sullivan (1,172 votes).  The two Democrats will be Radius Baker (1,083 votes) and Steve Rockwell ( 956 votes)


Spending the most doesn't ensure political victory - Link will be live for about a week if you have a subscription.


Interestingly, for the first time in forever more people voted in the Republican primary than on the Democratic side, with 3,258 marking ballots for GOP candidates and 2,424 polling on the Dem's side. Those were unofficial numbers Tuesday night, but they're close. [Another Sun article said a political scientist from ASU had this to say,  "Wang said. 'I think it is a really tough road for Democrats. The turnout bodes well for Republicans. The precincts (where Republicans had more voters) were spread out across the district.'” Wang is a leftist liberal predicting that.]


What's also interesting is how much each candidate spent. While we won't know the exact totals spent on the primary race until Nov. 1 when updated campaign finance reports are due, we know how much each candidate spent up to Oct. 1.


So those of us at The Sun got to talking and figuring: How much did each candidate spend per vote?


Well, the overwhelming big spender was Republican Chad Niell. Niell, who finished third — last — in the Republican primary, loaned his campaign $115,000 during the first month and raised $3,775 from contributors.


As of Oct. 1, he spent $89,533.27, including nearly $38,000 on television ads.


He probably spent a lot more during the first week of October, but we won't know that until Nov. 1. So, with 903 votes cast in his favor, Niell spent an average of nearly $100 per vote.


Next was Republican Dan Sullivan, who loaned his campaign $8,608.68, raised $44,175 in campaign contributions and spent $37,212.09 before Oct. 1. His per vote average, based on second place in the primary with 1,172 votes, or 36.04 percent, was $31.75.


His rival, Republican John Cooper, who finished first in the primary with 1,177 votes or 36.19 percent, loaned his campaign $16,000, raised $14,390 and spent $18,501.73 before Oct. 1. His per vote average was a cheap $15.72.


On the other end of the spectrum was Democrat Radius Baker, the primary's top vote getter with 1,083 votes or 44.79 percent. He loaned his campaign $20,829.27, raised $3,049.99 and spent $11,788.16 before Oct. 1. His per vote average was $10.88.


The next biggest spender per vote but who spent the least amount on his campaign was former state Sen. Gene Roebuck, a Democrat. He garnered 7.11 percent of the vote, with 172 souls casting ballots for him. As of Oct. 3, Roebuck spent $6,488.71, $4,000 of which came out of his own pocket. That means Roebuck spent about $37.73 for each vote he received. He also polled last on the Democratic ticket.


The second highest spender per vote was Democrat Steve Rockwell, who raised $52,340 prior to Oct. 1 and spent $35,644.44. He and his wife donated $2,000 each to his campaign, but loaned nothing. His per vote average, with 956 voters, or 39.54 percent, was $37.28.


Democrat Ray Kidd, who finished fourth in his primary, loaned his campaign $8,600, raised $1,400 in contributions and spent $5,797. With his 207 votes, or 8.56 percent, his per vote average was $28.


I hope this helps get rid of the idea that money is all that counts in a race. So many voters and candidates think the candidate who can raise the most money will be the winner.   I hope it is a new trend.  And I thank the Jonesboro Sun for putting this information together and bringing attention to it.



Posted October 11, 2013