The Cost of a Vote

As I noted in my final campaign post, incumbent Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane spent over $150,000 at $10/vote to avoid facing me in a runoff by only a 5% margin.

That’s a big number, especially compared to the $1.50/vote that I spent. However, I saw some staggering dollar-per-vote calculations in other races. One of the more startling is the amount Wil Cardon spent to go up against Jake Flake in the U.S. Senate race in Arizona.

The Arizona Daily Star is reporting Cardon went all-in with $8.8 million OF HIS OWN MONEY. AZCentral reports that’s about double what Flake spent, and Cardon got about 91,000 votes for about 20% of the vote compared to 70% for Flake. That’s almost $100/vote!

The Phoenix New Times summed it up with this headline:

Wil Cardon Officially Spent Millions of Dollars
to Get His Ass Handed to Him by Jeff Flake

Ellis Baxter

Now I don’t have anything personal against Cardon. He seems like a decent fellow and his wife was nice at the few campaign events where the Senate candidates were featured along with state, county, and city candidates.

However, I have to wonder how there wasn’t some room in that almost $9 million for some national caliber campaign strategy.

Local political hack (whack?) Ellis Baxter did some late-race messaging for Cardon, including, “I won the ovarian lottery,” and, “Only rich guys should run for Senate.” I’d love to know what Cardon paid for THOSE gems.

Baxter is also fond of saying that 94% of the time, the candidate with the most money wins.

UPDATE: The City Clerk just posted the final results, as follows

MAYOR  % Votes  # Votes
Bernhardt, Drew 18.68 7,367
Lane, W.J. ”Jim”  55.36  21,837
Washington, John  25.76  10,161
Total  39,448
Under Votes  4,068
 –  –  –
COUNCIL  % Votes    # Votes
Brown, Denny  3.88  3,999
Crawford, Bill  7.45   7,683
Klapp, Suzanne  15.35   15,837
Komarnicki, Debra   5.86   6,044
Korte, Virginia  16.40   16,919
Luoma, Eric  10.02  10,336
Meli, Joe   5.38   5,548
Phillips, Guy  12.96  13,377
Phillips, Joanne  8.13  8,389
Schaffner, Chris  8.42  8,688
Serena, Christian  6.06  6,252
Total  103,179
Under Votes  27,102


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      BERNHARDT, DREW 18.68% 7,367
      LANE, W.J. ”JIM” 55.36% 21,837
      WASHINGTON, JOHN 25.76% 10,161
      Total 39,448

      Over Votes: 375
      27102 Under Votes:
      BROWN, DENNY 3.88% 3,999
      CRAWFORD, BILL 7.45% 7,683
      KLAPP, SUZANNE 15.35% 15,837
      KOMARNICKI, DEBRA 5.86% 6,044
      KORTE, VIRGINIA 16.40% 16,919
      LUOMA, ERIC 10.02% 10,336
      MELI, JOE 5.38% 5,548
      PHILLIPS, GUY 12.96% 13,377
      PHILLIPS, ”COPPER” 8.13% 8,389
      SCHAFFNER, CHRIS 8.42% 8,688
      SERENA, CHRISTIAN 6.06% 6,252
      Total 103,179

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