Perot spent twice as much as foes for each vote

November 05, 1992|By Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- Ross Perot says he's a businessman who demands value for his money, but the Texas billionaire spent more than twice as much per vote as his major opponents in Tuesday's presidential election.

Mr. Perot spent at least $60 million to win 19,232,888 votes, 19 percent of the total. That's $3.12 per vote.

President Bush spent $55 million in his losing effort, taking 38,160,933 votes, or 38 percent. The cost per vote: $1.44.

Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton got the most bang for his buck, spending $55 million and winning 43,721,526 votes, 43 percent of the total and enough to make him president.

And it was a bargain, considering that he gets to ride in Air Force One and sleep in the White House for only $1.25 per vote.

Of course, Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton were spending taxpayers' money. Mr. Perot opened his own wallet to pay for his campaign.

Nowhere did money speak more loudly -- if not efficiently -- than in the race for Congress in California's 22nd district, near Santa Barbara. Republican candidate Michael Huffington spent $4.4 million -- almost all of that out of his own pocket -- to win 120,356 votes, and a seat in Congress.

That's a stratospheric $36.55 per vote.

But at least he won.

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