Measuring the Mother's Milk of Politics

The Times Union today has a story about who spent what on local elections in November. The big takeaway is that several losers outspent their opponents —but from a marketing standpoint it’s interesting to look at what each vote actually cost. This is unscientific but interesting.

In Colonie, incumbent town supervisor Paula Mahan spent $9.28 per vote to beat veteran pol Mike Hoblock whose votes cost $11.91 each.

Sam Messina ($4.37) knocked off incumbent Jack Cunningham ($7.36) in the Bethlehem supervisor race while spending $3 less per vote. If it seemed like there were less Sam Messina lawn signs now you know why. Now let’s see if he can run the town that efficiently.

Clifton Park? Running for supervisor in Clifton Park is amazingly cheap! Winner Phil Barrett shelled out only $1.76 per vote to loser Bill Casey’s $5.80. That’s like buying each of your supporters a coffee at Stewart’s instead of at Starbucks.

But the most amazing number is the one you find in Albany. The story says that Jerry Jennings spent “at least” $573,000 to win reelection as mayor. A lot of that cash was for the September primary, but based solely on the 10,466 votes he got in November that’s a whopping $54.75 per vote. Factor in the primary results and it’s still $30.81 per vote.

Wow, $54.75 a vote! No wonder everyone’s moving to the suburbs.

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