ONTD Political

Joe Walsh: spent $70 per voter, cried self to sleep

8:02 pm - 11/07/2012
If money “buys” a vote for a candidate, then ultimately the tens of millions of dollars poured into Illinois congressional races — contributing to the cynical and negative ads consuming Chicago’s airwaves for months — failed to pay off.

Seeing an opportunity to influence the balance of power in Washington, D.C., through Illinois, outside groups plowed $43 million into the top six U.S. House races in the Land of Lincoln on top of individual campaign spending.

However, in the three top Chicago-area congressional races, those who spent the most money — or had the most spent on their behalf — lost.

In each case, that was the Republican candidate.

The worst bang for the buck?

Tea Party Republican Joe Walsh. Each vote he won on Tuesday cost $70.

The best deal?

Democrat Brad Schneider, who won the north suburban 10th Congressional District for about $29 per vote.

The Sun-Times added the amount SuperPACs spent on a candidate to the amount the candidate reported spending from his or her personal campaign fund in the latest disclosure available. Those mid-October reports do not reflect the money each candidate spent in the crucial final weeks of the campaign.

Out of the 18 costliest House races in the country, six of them were contests in Illinois.

Bill Foster, who ousted longtime Republican Judy Biggert in the west suburban 11th Congressional District, won with the biggest margin, according to vote tallies, with 58 percent of the vote. It cost about $30 per vote for Foster, given the $4.3 million spent by or on his behalf and the 139,849 votes cast for him.

Spending on Biggert’s side exceeded $6.3 million. Ending up with 101,002 ballots cast for her, it averages out to $62 a vote.

Walsh’s challenger, Tammy Duckworth, was a relatively good investment. Duckworth’s totals meant $39 a vote with $4.7 million in spending and 120,774 votes.

By contrast, there was $7 million spent by Walsh or on his behalf attacking Duckworth in the north and northwest suburban 8th Congressional District. On Election Day, 99,922 people cast votes for him. That comes out to $70 per vote.

The closest congressional race of the three was in the 10th Congressional District, where a combination of campaign and outside money added up to $7.5 million for Republican Bob Dold. Dold narrowly lost to challenger Brad Schneider, earning 128,129 votes. That comes out to about $58 per vote for Dold.

By comparison, about $3.9 million went in on Schneider’s side, and he tallied 130,676. That’s about $29 per vote.

Kent Redfield emeritus professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said the totals show that money is just one of a number of factors in campaigns. Democratic-controlled redistricting in Illinois was another major factor, he said.

“Clearly you’ve got a ton of outside money that is interested in electing an R or a D. Most of this money doesn’t care what kind of representation this district gets,” Redfield said. “They really don’t care what happens past Election Day.”

Redfield said all the outside spending made for a negative tone this election cycle, combined with a lack of accountability, allowing commercials to make more outrageous claims.

“I’m just looking at these commercials and saying: ‘I know both sides are lying to me,” Redfield said. “I’ll be so happy that when I turn on the TV and know the person who is lying to me is trying to sell me something rather than get my vote.”


And from the Tribune:

“I'm going to cry tonight. ... It wasn't an easy phone call for me to make,” Walsh told supporters. “Cry a little. Then get up. We have a state to save. We have a country to save.”


OP: Oh Faux Walsh. U tried it.

And Walsh sank even more effort into this race than these articles let on. At the polling place where I worked we had a poll watcher for Walsh who wrote down the names of literally every voter who came through, then went into another room, compared them to registered Republicans in the county, and called those who hadn't shown up yet.
booksforlunch 8th-Nov-2012 11:57 am (UTC)
"And Walsh sank even more effort into this race than these articles let on. At the polling place where I worked we had a poll watcher for Walsh who wrote down the names of literally every voter who came through, then went into another room, compared them to registered Republicans in the county, and called those who hadn't shown up yet."

D: I don't know American laws, but that sounds an awful lot like influencing voters (not voting is, after all, a viable option for anyone.)

Also: I hope that they got a lot of flack from the people they called. Because otherwise the tea party voters have shown a remarkable taste for being herded like sheep for people who harp on about self-government and being left alone by intrusive authorities.
thenakedcat 8th-Nov-2012 03:45 pm (UTC)
Who has voted is a matter of public record--I worked on the Obama campaign in Colorado, where there is LOTS of early voting. Every day during the voting period, the district organizers would get a list of voters who had come in for early voting or whose mail-in ballots had been received. Those names would be struck off our masterlist of registered voters and our Get Out The Vote efforts would be applied only to registered Democrats or Dem-leaning voters who had yet to cast a ballot. In CO, the fact that casting a ballot stops both campaigns from calling you is considered a HUGE benefit of voting early.
wrestlingdog 8th-Nov-2012 12:46 pm (UTC)
atomic_joe2 8th-Nov-2012 01:51 pm (UTC)
I loved Trump's Twitter meltdown. Apparently the USA isn't democratic because they didn't let the Republicans win.
wrestlingdog 8th-Nov-2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
IKR? The schadenfreude is giving me life.
crossfire 8th-Nov-2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
I'm not usually given to gloating but Trump's tears are just so sweet I can't help myself.
yndigot 9th-Nov-2012 01:50 am (UTC)
.... D: Is that really what his hair looks like from the side?

atomic_joe2 8th-Nov-2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
What a bargain! Is this included in the $1 billion losing campaign bill?
moonbladem 8th-Nov-2012 02:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah, no sympathy for Joe Walsh. Total jerk. I'm glad Tammy Duckworth won.

I'm also really happy that Akin and Mourdock lost. Suck it, horrible people.
sunktheglow 8th-Nov-2012 03:36 pm (UTC)
celtic_thistle 8th-Nov-2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
I'm super excited for Tammy Duckworth. She is an awesome woman AND she mopped the floor with that fucking douchetrombone in every possible way. :')
bestdaywelived 8th-Nov-2012 03:24 pm (UTC)
Joe Walsh would have done better staying the fuck home and using that cash to support the children he owes over $100k in back support to.
tigerdreams 8th-Nov-2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
Seriously. BYE LINDA. Thanks but no thanks.
nycscribbler 8th-Nov-2012 08:52 pm (UTC)
Dear God, let her stop running. I'm tired of seeing TV ad after TV ad for her. You know why? Besides the fact that she's an abhorrent excuse of a human being?

I LIVE IN NEW YORK. Linda, even if someone brainwashed me into liking you, I CANNOT LEGALLY VOTE FOR YOU REMOVE YOURSELF FROM MY TELEVISION NOW.
angry_chick 9th-Nov-2012 04:04 am (UTC)

One of my Bffies lives in that district. People hated the shit out of Walsh in his circles.
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