Wednesday, October 2, 2013

NYC | $ per Vote–de Blasio Lowest, $24

Bill de Blasio is the most efficient campaign spender so far this year, based on figures provided by Sam Roberts on p. A20 of today's New York Times, supplemented by my own historical investigation.

De Blasio spent $24 per vote (the same amount that Peter Minuit paid the Lenape or Canarsee Indians in goods for all of Manhattan, Battery not included) to campaign for the Democratic nomination for Mayor from the office of Public Advocate.

Thompson, two-time former City Comptroller, spent $36 per vote. Quinn spent $60 per vote. The Democrats were all more efficient in their spending than the Republicans, except for Anthony Weiner.

Party
$ Million
$ per Vote
Votes
de Blasio
D
6.8
24
283,333
Thompson
D
6.6
36
183,333
Quinn
D
6.6
60
110,000
Liu
D
3.2
68
  47,059
Lhota
R
3.8
119
  31,933
Bloomberg, 2009
R
102.0
174
586,207
Weiner
D
6.6
190
  34,737
Lauder, 1989
R
13.0
352
  36,908
Catsimatidis
R
10.4
419
   24,821

John Catsimatidis now outranks Ronald Lauder on spending per vote. Catsimatidis may be the biggest NYC mayoral campaign spender in history based on results, $419 per vote.

Ronald Lauder's 1989 primary campaign, costing $352 per vote, was at the time described as the most expensive campaign per vote in U.S. history.

The high cost of Mayor Bloomberg's 2009 campaign is also clear from this table - $174 per vote, $102 million total - 15 times the total amount that Bill de Blasio spent becoming the Democratic nominee for Mayor this year.

But Linda McMahon spent $454 per vote in the 2010 Connecticut GOP primary for U.S. Senate. She won it but then lost the general election with spending of $95 per vote - the most spent in any state or local general election in 2010.

In New York State, the most costly primary was the $3.1 million battle between Chris Cox and Randy Altschuler in NY District 1. Altschuler won, spending $191 per vote (Cox spent $195 per vote), but went on to lose to incumbent Tim Bishop, spending another $2 million for a $23-per-vote cost in the general election.

The success of the de Blasio primary campaign, if followed up by similar success in the faceoff with Lhota next month, will boost the already-strong credentials of de Blasio's campaign consultants -
  • John de Cecato of AKPD Message and Media, founded by David Axelrod (de Cecato prepared the famous ad featuring Dante and his Afro). 
  • Anna Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, which did the polling for the de Blasio campaign. 
  • Joe Rospars of Blue State Digital, the people who were brought together for the Howard Dean campaign in 2004, got behind Barack Obama in 2008 and signed up 13 million supporters for him online, raising $500 million via Quick Donate.
Of course, the campaign consultants should not get all the credit for the success of the candidate. Some of that should go to Mr. de Blasio himself, his Wellesley College wife Chirlane McCray, and their two impressive children.