Sunday, August 22, 2010

Big Spenders - Bloomberg or Fenty?

Last week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg came down to the new Carmine's restaurant in Penn Quarter to endorse D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty for a second term.  The endorsement led to comparisons between the two big city mayors in their governing styles, challenges, and close reelection bids, and Bloomberg's mentorship of Fenty.  They also both spent record amounts on their reelection campaigns.

AP Photo.
New York.  There are 4.47 million registered voters in New York City.  In his 2009 campaign, Bloomberg spent $102 million, most of which came from his own personal fortune.  That's about $23 per registered voter.  At the end of the day, Bloomberg spent $174 for each vote cast for him (585,000).  He secured reelection with just 50.6% of the vote.

Photo: dbking on Flickr
District of Columbia.  There are 329,000 registered Democrats in D.C. (437,000 registered voters when including other parties).  As of August 10, Fenty raised $4.7 million toward his reelection bid (his chief opponent, Vince Gray, has raised $1.3 million).  Assuming Mayor Fenty spends his entire war chest, he'll have paid about $14 per registered Democrat or $11 per registered DC voter.  If voter turnout is the same as in the 2006 D.C. Democratic primary (106,178) and Fenty wins reelection with 51% of the vote (54,151), then he'll have spent about $87 per vote received.  Of course, this does not include what is likely to be a surge of activity in these last weeks before the primary, which will likely put the final total a bit higher.

Bloomberg wins the big spender award -- he shelled out nearly twice as much per registered voter and per vote received as Fenty is likely to spend.


IMGoph said...

cary: you might want to redo some numbers here. the PDF seems to say that NYC as 4.47 million voters, at most.

since the city doesn't even have 10 million people total, the number of registered voters couldn't possibly be that high.

Cary Silverman said...

Thanks, IMGoph. Not sure how that number got in there, but I've corrected the post and rerun the numbers.