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Today’s number

Thursday, Feb 28, 2013

* The Tribune totals up Mayor Bloomberg’s spending in the 2nd Congressional District special primary

Independence USA’s overall spending, which also included some direct-mail pieces, was equivalent to about $72.23 for each vote Kelly received, based on unofficial vote totals in the low-turnout election.

By comparison, a CNN analysis found that Obama and his allies spent the equivalent of $25.33 per vote to win the battleground state of Ohio last year, while Republican nominee Mitt Romney and his allies spent $30.60 per vote in that state.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Nieva - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 12:58 pm:

    We have become a country of only the wealthy or people with wealthy sponsors being elected. How can this be a government of the people?

  2. - Hank - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 1:15 pm:

    Ironic that JJJ may have tried to buy a senate seat, but Bloomberg bought his old congressional seat

  3. - Just Observing - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 1:29 pm:

    Well… it’s not a great comparison. Turnout was so low in this special election, especially compared to a Prez election, that the cost per vote is certainly going to be higher.

  4. - Mason born - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 1:30 pm:

    Actually i think it is funny Bloomberg spent that much on a race she probably would have won without him. What do they say a fool and his money?

  5. - dupage dan - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 1:33 pm:

    We need Bloomberg to spend even more money in Illinois on various campaigns. Good for the local economy.

  6. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 1:40 pm:

    No matter your politics, its alarming and unhealthy that big money can swamp the field like that.

    But to the Big Five Supremes, that’s just free speech in action. Free, it ain’t, when the arena is television.

    Expect a lot more of the same.

  7. - Amalia - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 1:40 pm:

    who are the consultants making a Bloomberg dividend?

  8. - ndaggerscfo - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 1:46 pm:

    Here’s the thing, these numbers are very misleading.

    (1) it is an off-year special election in the middle of winter, which means turnout was abysmal. Had this been the 2012 general and Kelly won as many votes as JJJ it would have cost them $12 per vote.

    (2) Chicago is the third most expensive media market in the country. Had this race been in a smaller market they could have spent less and got just as many points on broadcast.

    (3) It is hard to attack Bloomberg for this strategy, when over the past three election cycles (08, 10, 12) the NRA has spent just shy of $50m on IEs, another $2.5m on direct PAC contributions, and none of these include member-to-member contact.

  9. - Mason born - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 1:53 pm:


    Great point didn’t think of that hey Bloomy there is a city council race somewhere here in il needs your help.

  10. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 2:00 pm:

    –What do they say a fool and his money?–

    In this case, that he has another $25 billion. Two million ain’t beer money.

  11. - Hatless - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 2:06 pm:

    Bertrand Russell said the money is only good up to a certain point and after that it can only buy power.

    And they wonder why people are disillusioned and feel powerless.

  12. - soccermom - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    STL is eating his Wheaties today.

  13. - soccermom - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    Sorry — wrong post. Soccermom is caffeine-deprived.

  14. - Dave Fako - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 2:27 pm:

    We all can agree that Bloomberg’s money influenced this election in a significant manner, and, as I suggested yesterday, it helped Kelly more than hurt Halvorson (Halvorson got the % she basically started at). The biggest factor in his money was chasing Toi out of the race and jumping in overt support of Kelly - helping Kelly the most.

    That being said, Kelly was running a very good campaign on her own, and under the same dynamics, without the Bloomberg money, was best positioned to win, albeit it would have been more difficult.

    Now, if the dynamics don’t change as much (multiple credible, or potentially credible, candidates dropping out) as the race progressed, I think we may be having a discussion about how much money Bloomberg wasted on an unsuccessful effort. But that is all hypothetical, conjecture, etc., best debated over a Blatz served on tap at Tom’s Place in Lemont (I like more than Blatz, but in this case, its nostalgic).

  15. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 2:37 pm:

    –Sorry — wrong post. Soccermom is caffeine-deprived.–

    What the what? It’s the middle of the day — did you just wake up?

    Long trip back from that Vanity Fair Oscar Party?

  16. - Bigtwich - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 2:52 pm:

    I doubt Bloomberg’s money actually changed the outcome. But, with the publicity he got nationally it was good value.

  17. - Responsa - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 2:59 pm:

    Bloomberg is rich and is entitled to spend his fortune any way he chooses, and in whatever avenues that give him pleasure. But to many people, (like me) the way the mayor uses it to influence votes in minor elecions as opposed to using it as the health, vaccination, poverty and education type initiatives of a Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, for instance, is quite sad. I think we all know whose money is going to have the greater long term positive impact on the world and who in the future will be considered in the league with Carnegie as a great philanthropist– and it ain’t going to be nanny Bloomie.

  18. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 5:19 pm:

    My thoughts? Can’t get ‘em out ‘cuz after reading the above–$72+ per VOTE?!–I’m speechless…

  19. - Muffin Man - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 6:18 pm:

    If you want to see an interesting comparison—-I wonder what the “cost per vote” was for the Republican winner Paul McKinley? Now— there goes a man who knows how to really stretch a dollar in these tough financial times!Ha-ha.

  20. - Esquire - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 9:13 pm:

    I think that the biggest influence of Bloomberg’s money had was not necessarily related to the votes cast in favor of Kelly — it was more influential in that it drove Hutchinson from the primary race.
    When the field was winnowed, Halvorson’s chances (divide and conquer) evaporated.

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