It’s become popular thought in politics and culture today that the more a political candidate has to spend, the more successful his campaign will be. While it is categorically a truth that one must have a significant financial backing to be a political candidate if he or she wishes to become president of the United States, what is not true is that he or she who spends the most — particularly when broken down to each vote — wins. While the nominees for the Democratic and Republican parties have yet to be determined, the front-runners are not necessarily the ones who have put the most money into your vote, no matter how much money they do or don’t have.
While it remains a myth that “people can be bought with money” for votes, and that may be true in a broader sense of being able to run for presidency in the first place, what does not seem to be true is that the dollar amount spent on each campaign decides the success or failure of it. Perhaps how the monies are spent may be a factor, but the overall bleeding of funds, when broken down vote for vote, is astonishing to many.
While top presidential candidates did put a lot of money into the key primary states in an effort to gain attention, win over voters, and change the course of the election, their dollars have not always been a waste. But in many areas, money doesn’t always translate into votes, as the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary clearly demonstrated. If you want to assess how each Republican presidential candidate fared according to the money they spent, it actually seems to have an inverse affect – the less money they spent per vote, the more votes they actually received, according to ATTN.
In fact, front-runner for the GOP and billionaire tycoon Donald Trump spent the very least per vote in the Iowa caucus and in New Hampshire primary although he has secured about thirty five percent of the vote: analysts say he’s spent about ninety dollars per vote. That may seem like a lot of money to many people, but not when you consider what some of his opponents spent. Some of them more than twenty times that figure.
In the New Hampshire primary, retired neurosurgeon and Republican candidate Ben Carson spent the most per vote — a whopping $2,303 — but only secured two percent of the vote. In fact, he spent the most money in both Iowa and New Hampshire, but had the least to show for his financial efforts.
Money spent versus votes received may be one reason that Jeb Bush pulled out of the race — he was also spending over a thousand dollars per vote, but securing nominal support, even after attempting to rev up his campaign with support and appearances of his generally well-liked parents, former President Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush, as well as his very well-known brother, former president George W. Bush.
Of course, how the money is actually spent plays a pivotal role — does it go to special interest groups? The campaign trail? In the end, however, dollar per dollar seems less important than what candidates are saying and how closely their thoughts resonate with potential voters.
While recent data shows that evangelical Christian voters are more likely to vote for Ted Cruz, with seven out of ten of his supporters describing themselves as “born again Christians” or voting based on religious principles. The angry, fed-up American who “wants change” and “seeks someone who tells it like it is” is much more likely to be voting for Donald Trump, who has spent the least per vote – compelling evidence that at least in some immediate ways, money doesn’t always talk.
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