SC

SC-1: The Vote Cost

Lots of cash was spent during the “Republican” primary for the South Carolina first congressional district last week … but who got the most value for their political investment? Obviously former S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford and former Charleston County councilman Curtis Bostic walked away from the primary with sufficient votes…

Lots of cash was spent during the “Republican” primary for the South Carolina first congressional district last week … but who got the most value for their political investment?

Obviously former S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford and former Charleston County councilman Curtis Bostic walked away from the primary with sufficient votes to advance to Round 2 (a.k.a. the GOP runoff on April 2), but how well were the candidates able to translate their resources into votes?

Courtesy of the Republican Liberty Caucus of South Carolina, here’s the breakdown …

Candidate Money Spent Votes Money Per Vote
Ray Nash $14,119 2504 $5.64
Andy Patrick $27,239 3,776 $7.21
Mark Sanford* $261,813 19,812 $13.21
Larry Grooms $115,322 6656 $17.33
Peter McCoy $17,865 865 $20.65
Jeff King $4,538 211 $21.51
Curtis Bostic* $185,935 7149 $26.01
Tim Larkin $12,024 390 $30.83
E. Moffly $22,153 529 $41.88
Ric Bryant $5,396 86 $62.74
S. Pinkston $12,297 154 $79.85
J. Hoffman $28,951 358 $80.87
Teddy Turner $354,454 4,235 $83.70
John Kuhn $418,807 3471 $120.66
Chip Limehouse $497,457 3269 $152.17

*Advanced to runoff

In last year’s presidential race, U.S. President Barack Obama (and independent expenditure groups supporting his bid) spent $16.73 per vote compared to $20.09 for “Republican” nominee Mitt Romney (and independent expenditure groups supporting his candidacy. By contrast Libertarian party nominee Gary Johnson’s votes “cost” less than $2.00 apiece.

Obviously, “cost per vote” is a fairly meaningless statistic … although it can show the extent to which a candidate is able to muster support independent of costly television ads (or the extent to which a candidate’s massive expenditures fail to create a connection with voters).

By any measure, the biggest loser in this race was S.C. Rep. Chip Limehouse (RINO-Charleston) – who spent more than any other candidate yet came in a disappointing seventh place.

***

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14 comments

Upstater March 25, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Am I the only one who believes it is insane that candidates can “buy” votes through advertising, particularly on TV? From what I read, it seems most political pundits would say that the candidate who raises the most money has an advantage, and it seems like a high percentage of that is spent on TV advertising. I guess it’s the whole “name recognition” thing.
I guess that underscores how dumb the majority of the electorate really is, if airing political ads on TV can make such a difference. These must be the same people who think Myrtle Manor is “real.”

Reply
Smirks March 26, 2013 at 8:55 am

A politician with a big campaign budget can’t easily “buy” votes from other candidates with equally big or bigger campaign budgets. The biggest point of having a big war chest is to eliminate the nobodies that run against you who actually want to do something and fix shit. Once that’s out of the way, it mostly comes down to out-campaigning the other sleazeballs, but even that is sometimes impossible.

16 people ran, most of them because they felt that they already had a name in politics. If most of them had known SC is still dumb enough to vote for Sanford after his many disgraces, they likely wouldn’t have run. Bostic likely has his concession speech printed out and folded neatly in his coat pocket.

Reply
Jeffrey Sewell March 26, 2013 at 9:42 am

You answered your own Q… Sanford left nothing to chance. Now the big Q, what did others spending 250k+ gain? I believe you may be able to reach Teddy @christophersstbarth for comment…

Reply
Upstater March 25, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Am I the only one who believes it is insane that candidates can “buy” votes through advertising, particularly on TV? From what I read, it seems most political pundits would say that the candidate who raises the most money has an advantage, and it seems like a high percentage of that is spent on TV advertising. I guess it’s the whole “name recognition” thing.
I guess that underscores how dumb the majority of the electorate really is, if airing political ads on TV can make such a difference. These must be the same people who think Myrtle Manor is “real.”

Reply
Smirks March 26, 2013 at 8:55 am

A politician with a big campaign budget can’t easily “buy” votes from other candidates with equally big or bigger campaign budgets. The biggest point of having a big war chest is to eliminate the nobodies that run against you who actually want to do something and fix shit. Once that’s out of the way, it mostly comes down to out-campaigning the other sleazeballs, but even that is sometimes impossible.

16 people ran, most of them because they felt that they already had a name in politics. If most of them had known SC is still dumb enough to vote for Sanford after his many disgraces, they likely wouldn’t have run. Bostic likely has his concession speech printed out and folded neatly in his coat pocket.

Reply
Jeffrey Sewell March 26, 2013 at 9:42 am

You answered your own Q… Sanford left nothing to chance. Now the big Q, what did others spending 250k+ gain? I believe you may be able to reach Teddy @christophersstbarth for comment…

Reply
G. Marx March 25, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Regarding Koon & Limehouse, the winners in the spend-the-money sweepstakes above:

As Curtis Bostic would say, “God is good.”

Reply
G. Marx March 25, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Regarding Koon & Limehouse, the winners in the spend-the-money sweepstakes above:

As Curtis Bostic would say, “God is good.”

Reply
Smirks March 26, 2013 at 8:41 am

Damn, Limehouse would have had better luck handing out twenties to random people and saying “Vote for me!” May have been slightly illegal, but hey, more economical, right?

Reply
Halfvast Conspirator March 26, 2013 at 10:18 am

Pints and cartons of Kools

Reply
Smirks March 26, 2013 at 8:41 am

Damn, Limehouse would have had better luck handing out twenties to random people and saying “Vote for me!” May have been slightly illegal, but hey, more economical, right?

Reply
Halfvast Conspirator March 26, 2013 at 10:18 am

Pints and cartons of Kools

Reply
You know me March 26, 2013 at 3:24 pm

I guess we could say that Chip is the “biggest loser”.

Reply
You know me March 26, 2013 at 3:24 pm

I guess we could say that Chip is the “biggest loser”.

Reply

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