Super Sat. Can’t Buy It, Rubio spent more than double the field per vote, Still Lost

The numbers on Super Saturday are small — five states, with fewer than a million votes cast across all contests on the day — but they’re no less fun for that.

Take Marco Rubio. The Florida senator and his allies spent nearly twice as much in TV advertising per vote as all other candidates combined — Republicans and Democrats.

    Here’s how that breaks down: Conservative Solutions PAC, which backs Rubio, spent $124,590 on ads in Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maine in the 15 months up to Saturday. Rubio took 85,064 votes across the four states, which works out to $1.46 per vote.

    That might seem like a good deal until you see the numbers for the other candidates.

    Donald Trump and John Kasich spent no money on advertising. Trump got the largest number of votes in the Republican field, with 230,443, while Kasich came last with 62,554. Both spent zero dollars per vote.

    Ted Cruz got nearly the same number of votes as Trump — 230,209 Republicans backed the Texas senator — but spent $60,240 to do it. That works out to 26 cents per vote.

    Over on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders will be celebrating winning two (smallish) states to Hillary Clinton’s one (medium-sized) state on Saturday. But like Cruz, he spent to do it.

    The Sanders campaign stumped up $55,060 in TV ads in the three states holding Democratic contests, and 114,564 Democrats felt the Bern. That’s a budget-conscious 48 cents per vote.

    Clinton, for her part spent a measly $6,810 on advertising, and got 246,501 in return. That’s less than 3 cents per vote.

    Add up all the candidates other than Rubio and you get about 77 cents per vote, or just about half the Floridian’s $1.46. Ouch.

    TV advertising spending estimates from January 1, 2015 to March 5, 2016 in Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine and Nebraska come from CMAG/Kantar Media.