The nearly $100 million price tag on Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman's primary win breaks down as the second-highest spending per primary vote by a largely self-funded gubernatorial candidate, according to an analysis released today by The Fair Political Practices Commission.
Whitman, who faced a tough primary challenge from Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner , spent $65 for each vote she won in the June 8 primary. That figure is about $5 less per vote than Al Checchi spent on his failed 1998 Democratic gubernatorial primary run.
Poizner spent $43.64 per vote to come up short while Democratic nominee Jerry Brown, who did not face a serious challenger, spent just 38 cents for each vote he bagged.
Brown, Poizner and Whitman spent a combined $128 million on the June primary. That's six times the inflation-adjusted total from 1978 when five candidates, including Brown, dropped a total of $23 million on their bids. (Brown, who was running unopposed for re-election, spent $576,000 more in 2010 dollars in 1978 than he did this time around).
The high spending doesn't mean more voters are coming out to the polls -- the report also found that voter participation has declined during the period that spending has increased.
Here are the self-funded candidates who spent the most per vote. Just Whitman and Bill Simon won their primary contests:
1. Al Checchi $70.21 (1998 Democratic gubernatorial primary)
2. Meg Whitman $65.29 (2010 Republican gubernatorial primary)
3. Steve Westly $45.29 (2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary)
4. Steve Poizner $43.64 (2010 Republican gubernatorial primary)
5. Jane Harman $29.59 (1998 Democratic gubernatorial primary)
6. Bill Simon $17.31 (2002 Republican gubernatorial primary)
Click here to read the full report.
This post was updated with more information from the report.
PHOTO CREDIT: Meg Whitman at her June 8 primary victory party. Hector Amezcua, Sacramento Bee.