A couple weeks ago, I called Romney the winner after adjusting for dollar influence. The data was based on an blog guest’s infographic, calculated by a method other than the sources I used in the past.
According to the data from OpenSecrets.Org, we have two conflicting totals because Romney’s outside spending was large enough to make the tally for overall spending larger than Obama’s. If you use only campaign funds, Obama lost by more than a few points; if you look at total dollars promoting Romney’s re-election (or attacks on Obama), the reverse is true.
But how did other candidates do?
Using totals of all data available through OpenSecrets.Org and Wikipedia’s popular vote data as of 11/9/12, let’s take a look.
|Spending||Popular Vote||% TS||Adj.PV|
Only one other candidate received near 1% of the popular vote and had a budget over a million dollars: [[Libertarian Party]]’s Gov. [[Gary Johnson]]. With a mere fraction of a percent of the total spending among these candidates, he garnished 0.97% of the total popular vote. Adjusted using the formula I prescribed in the past, this gives Johnson a landslide victory.
If [[Green Party]]’s Jill Stein and [[Constitution Party]]’s Virgil Goode are included, it shows the least votes for Stein among the three independents (still beating the heck out of Obama and Romney), but all hands folding to Goode, who spent the least cash (under $100,000, meaning virtually 0.00%).
Of course the formula isn’t perfect. It gives a higher degree of inaccuracy the smaller the numbers and percents, ad we’re talking significant disparity between the big and small players. It also gives us a total “adjusted popular vote” greater than the actual number of voters in these cases.
In any event, we are presented with the data indicating that with far less funding, third parties receive a disproportionally large amount of votes. Either dollars do not have the influence we thought, or if they do, the above suggests that if Obama-Romney hadn’t blown through nearly $2 BILLION DOLLARS, they could have been creamed by any third party candidate.