We date so we can get to know a future spouse. We assume (although this isn’t always true) that how someone acts on a date is the best they can be, and over time we will get to know the underlying values of the person, prior to marriage.
We are ‘dating” the candidates. How they conduct themselves now is perhaps the best face we will see on them. They will never be more accommodating to our wishes than when they are trying to get our votes.
The campaigns are in the delegate business. The point is to turn the raw material of citizens into voters, and then turn voters into delegates. The number of delegates produced is the output of this enterprise. An efficient enterprise is able to produce the maximum number of delegates from a minimum outlay of resources.
I contend that the candidate we want for president is the one who handles our money carefully. He is a steward of the resources, and gets the greatest return on the investment made.
So I looked at the number of delegates produced by the 6 remaining candidates, and the funds collected and spent. The funds part was easy, since each reports regularly to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The delegate count, however, is less clear.
There are some states with funny results. Washington’s results are still in doubt, since they closed the election with only about 85% of the votes counted. And I’m trying to find out what happened in Louisiana, since RealClearPolitics.com gives McCain all 41 delegates, even though Huckabee received 2100 more votes.
And the various websites have differing numbers of delegates earned. Not counting the 109 unpledged RNC delegates, McCain has somewhere between 917 and 1014 delegates, depending on which one of the three sites I looked at (Real Clear, Fox and CNN). Romney is somewhere between 255 and 270, and Huckabee is between 249 and 257 delegates. Even Ron Paul has either 14 or 21 delegates, depending on who you believe.
And the cost per delegate?
- Huckabee is most efficient, spending an average (depending on which delegate count you use) of just over $48,000 per delegate.
- McCain is close, spending around $52,000 apiece.
- Romney, the MBA, spent $377,353 per delegate. That’s more than liberal spenders Clinton and Obama spent per delegate. But less than the $1.7 Million per delegate Ron Paul has spent.
- Clinton has spent over $98,000 per delegate, but Obama has “only” spent $93,000 per earned delegate.
- This shows – in my mind – that the front-running Republicans are more careful with the funds given than the front-running Democrats. I believe this gives insight into their character as trustee of the common weal (good fortune) of the nation.
By the way, neither Huckabee, Paul or Obama have incurred any debt in this race. Clinton has borrowed $5M (from herself) and McCain has borrowed $4M (using the potential campaign financing promise as collateral, a questionable practice the FEC is looking into). Gov Romney left the race owing himself over $42M.
And that is another reason I support Mike Huckabee for President.