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Dollars Per Vote

I reviewed Gabrieli’s campaign spending on the OCPF website. It looks like he spent $9.4 million in his primary campaign. He got 248,000 votes. That works out to $37.93 per vote. Winning, of course, makes you look good: Patrick spent $4.9 million to get 452,000 votes, or $10.80 per vote. That’s still a lot of money, but it went farther.

What does this mean? For one thing, it shows that “buying an election” is easier said than done. This doesn’t disprove that money matters, but it shows that money isn’t the only thing that matters. If money was the only factor, Gabrieli would have walked away with 50% of the vote, not Patrick. The next time you read an editorial compaining about the role of money in elections, remember to check the numbers once the dust has settled a bit.

Did you read this information in the mainstream press? Not too likely. It’s after the fact, there’s no one to give a sound bite, and that makes it boring. Check out the Globe’s political finance page. Last update? Last month.