Buying the Vote in Ohio

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Every new election sets a record for the amount of money spent. In 2012, it is believed that Barack Obama will raise over $1 billion. But buying the vote happens in all elections; even now, Sherrod Brown, the incumbent democratic senator from Ohio, seems to be gearing up for a big fundraising push, well over a year before the elections.

If the 2010 Senate election is any indication, lots of money will be spent by all candidates, but one of the campign statistics that seems to be underreported is the amont of money spent per vote received by candidates. Table 1 show the voting results of the 2010 senate election in Ohio, along with the dollars spent by each candidate. Money is spent by campaigns for travel, lodging, printing, pay to campaign workers, and to run ads. It is staggering to see the amount of money that is spent on the higher end and that, overall, $5.45 was spent per vote in the election.

Name Votes $Spent $Debt $Spent/Vote Party
Portman 2,168,736 14,620,243 0 6.74 Republican
Fisher 1,503,286 6,114,834 0 4.07 Democrat
Deaton 65,856 27,647 34,850 0.42 Constitution
Pryce 50,100 27,024 21,031 0.54 Independent (Conservative)
La Botz 26,454 12,858 0 0.49 Socialist
Total 3,814,32 20,802,606 5.45
Table 1

The three lowest vote-getters were the best at spending. Constitution Party Candidate (and Tea Party backed) Eric Deaton had the best with ratio with only $0.42 per vote. Deaton was also the most in debt at the end of his campaign and raised the lowest amont from individual contributions. Also note that Dan La Botz had no debt and had a remarkable dollar-to-vote ratio, meaning his campaign did the best job with the money donated to them. The campaign managed to raise about two times the amounts that the other non-major party candidates got from individual donations. Given prominent public opinion regarding Socialists, this election and these numbers serve as a small example of the popularity among independent voters of an efficient socialist-run system.

Sources:

Federal Election Commission: 2010 House and Senate Campaign Finance for Ohio

Ohio Secretary Of State: Official Election Results