[Marxism] Dollars Per Vote: Green vs. Democratic

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Thu Mar 18 06:11:36 MST 2004

Some American leftists, like G. William Domhoff, want Nader and the 
Green Party to run an "insurgent campaign" in the Democratic 
presidential caucuses and primaries, forming a faction of the "Green 
Democrats" in the Democratic Party and emulating "Jesse Jackson's 
access to the Clinton-Gore presidency" ("Greens or Green 
[Egalitarian] Democrats?: A Commentary on the Nader 2000 Campaign," 
March 29, 2002, 

Not cost-effective.  It costs a left-wing candidate more to run in 
the Democratic presidential caucuses and primaries than to run as a 
Green candidate in the general election.  Howard Dean spent over $40 
million, did not win a single primary, and got forced out on February 
18, 2004 -- five months before the Democratic Party National 
Convention on July 26-29 and more than ten months before the election 
day in November.  The losers who gave money to Dean spent $40 million 
-- and the losers who gave to Dennis Kuninich spent $5 million -- 
without earning a single vote for their candidate in the general 
election.  In contrast, our man "Ralph Nader spent only $8.5 million 
on his national presidential campaign" in 2000 (Yvonne Abraham, 
"Clean Elections Offers a Big Lift to Green Party," _The Boston 
Globe_, March 3, 2002, 
<http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0303-02.htm>) and got 
2,882,955 votes in the general election ("U.S. Presidential 
Elections: Leftist Votes," 
-- about $2.9 per vote in the general election, which is far less 
than $100 per vote for Dean, $80 per vote for Kucinich, and $7 per 
vote for Al Sharpton in the Democratic caucuses and primaries (Cf. 
Norman Soloman reports that, in 1996, Nader "opted to cap his 
campaign expenditures at $5,000" ["News That Still Goes Unreported: 
"Dollars Per Vote," <http://www.fair.org/media-beat/980604.html>] and 
received "685,128 votes nationwide," spending only "seven-tenths of a 
penny per vote" ["Bumpy Media Road For A Wellstone Presidential 
Drive," <http://www.fair.org/media-beat/980716.html>] -- our Consumer 
Advocate sure knows how to get his money's worth).

Take a look at how money gets lost in the Democratic caucuses and primaries:

*****   The New York Times
February 29, 2004, Sunday, Late Edition - Final
SECTION: Section 1; Page 18; Column 1; National Desk
LENGTH: 1017 words
HEADLINE: THE 2004 CAMPAIGN; Political Points
BYLINE:  By JOHN TIERNEY; Rhasheema A. Sweeting contributed reporting 
for this column.

. . . Add Up the Dollars, Er, Votes

THAT old promise of a chicken in every pot looks like a bargain 
compared with the sums politicians are spending this year to win 
votes. Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri spent $18 
million in his presidential campaign, which ended after he won fewer 
than 14,000 votes in Iowa. That works out to about $1,300 per vote, 
which would be enough to buy every voter a chicken, a pot and a 
full-featured stove.

To be fair, you could include the votes that Mr. Gephardt has been 
picking up in primaries since he left the race. Counting them, his 
per-vote cost stands at about $600. So he can point to at least one 
bigger spender in the past: Steve Forbes, whose quest for the 
Republican nomination in 2000 cost $86 million, or about $650 per 
vote. But Mr. Gephardt is still comfortably ahead of another 
plutocrat: Michael R. Bloomberg paid about $100 per vote while 
spending more than $73 million to win the race for New York mayor.

Among this year's Democrats, the next highest roller was Senator 
Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, who spent $17 million, or a 
little more than $200 for every vote he won in the primaries until he 
withdrew. Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, spent the most, 
$42 million, but took back enough of America to average about $100 
per vote until his withdrawal. Gen. Wesley K. Clark spent $22 
million, or just less than $60 per vote.

Among the active candidates, Representative Dennis J. Kucinich of 
Ohio has spent $5 million, or about $80 per vote so far. Mr. 
Edwards's $22 million in spending works out to nearly $24 per vote, 
and Mr. Kerry's $31 million to $21 per vote. But the most 
cost-effective of all is the Rev. Al Sharpton. By spending a little 
more than $600,000, he's paying less than $7 per vote, which is just 
about the price of a chicken.   *****

$18 million (Gephardt) + $17 million (Lieberman) + $42 million (Dean) 
+ $5 million (Kucinich) + $22 million (Edwards) + $600,000 (Sharpton) 
= $104,600,000 = wasted dollars of the Democratic losers and their 
contributors who do not get a single vote in the general election.

* Bring Them Home Now! <http://www.bringthemhomenow.org/>
* Calendars of Events in Columbus: 
<http://www.freepress.org/calendar.php>, & <http://www.cpanews.org/>
* Student International Forum: <http://sif.org.ohio-state.edu/>
* Committee for Justice in Palestine: <http://www.osudivest.org/>
* Al-Awda-Ohio: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Al-Awda-Ohio>
* Solidarity: <http://www.solidarity-us.org/>

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