Last night Georgia Republicans took the first step towards deciding who would be their Republican nominee for governor. In a field of four major candidates, more than $3.05 million was spent and 679,572 ballots were cast making the statewide average cost per vote $4.49. If we look at the cost per vote (CPV) of the individual candidates, we find that Karen Handel was unquestionably the most effective candidate in the race.
Handle’s CPV was $0.65 – a feat of efficiency when compared to the other candidates. The runner-up, Congressman Nathan Deal, paid $2.37 per vote, or 3.6 times what Handel paid. Moving down the list of candidates, third-place finisher, former State Senator Eric Johnson, paid $8.85 per vote. That’s 13.65 times what Handel paid and 197% more than the statewide average. Finally, fourth-place finisher and current statewide office holder John Oxendine paid a shocking $11.86 per vote, or almost 18 times what Karen Handel paid. Oxendine’s CPV was 256% above the statewide average of $4.49.
The old rule of quality over quantity seems to hold true with Cost Per Vote. Beyond a kitschy phrase, however, lies the startling revelation that CPV stands out as an ominous predictor of candidate’s success.