PEDDLING FICTION IS EXPENSIVE …
Money cannot buy love … but it can buy votes. Assuming you’re willing to pay enough for them.
Late Tuesday, as the election results rolled in from early-voting New Hampshire, supporters of former Florida governor Jeb Bush touted his campaign’s resurgence heading into the “First in the South” presidential primary in South Carolina.
“Jeb is the candidate coming out of New Hampshire with momentum on his side and a path forward,” Bush spokesperson Allie Brandenburger said.
Bush finished in sixth-place earlier this month in the Iowa Caucus – earning a measly 2.8 percent of the vote. Add his expenditures up and Bush spent roughly $3,000 for each of his 5,238 votes.
In New Hampshire, Bush finished in fourth-place with 11.1 percent of the vote. This marginally improved outcome prompted a burst of what Alan Greenspan once termed “irrational exuberance” from the charisma-challenged establishment candidate.
“You have given me the chance to go on to South Carolina,” Bush told his supporters. “We are going to do really well there.”
Well … he’s certainly spending the most money in the Palmetto State, but will it translate into votes?
It did in the Granite State … but only to an extent.
Bush appears to have spent roughly $1,200 per vote in New Hampshire … which is more than a hundred times what U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas spent per vote on his 11.6 percent third-place finish.
That’s insane … it’s also instructive regarding the difference between real support (a.k.a. Cruz’s voters) and backing you have to buy at insane costs. In fact the other “Republican” establishment candidates all spent big bucks (with little return) in New Hampshire – with New Jersey governor Chris Christie shelling out more than $800 per vote and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida spending more than $500 per vote.
Rubio is also among the big spenders so far in South Carolina … where the badly-divided status quo wing of the GOP had hoped to erect a firewall against the insurgent campaigns of Cruz and national frontrunner Donald Trump.
Now these fiscally liberal “Republicans” must continue to do battle with each other – while checking the rise of another establishment rival, fiscally liberal Ohio governor John Kasich (a.k.a. “Medicaid Jesus“).
That means the likelihood of all of these candidates spending more special interest money on modest outcomes … while Trump and Cruz continue to rake in the populist groundswell of anti-establishment support.