There was a *lot* of IE money expended during the 2012 elections.
The sources of information:
Arizona Secretary of State's Official Election Canvass of Results
Post-General Election campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission
Further caveats: The "net operating expenditures" number is from the applicable candidate's final 2012 campaign finance filing; it includes funds expended during the primary election, if any. Since I could not think of a way to separate funds that only affected the primary vote, all expenditures were included, not just monies spent during the general election part of the cycle.
In addition, some candidates faced a "real" primary (viable opposition) while facing a walkover in the general, some faced the opposite combination, some neither, and one race, CD9, had both competitive primaries (D and R) and a competitive general election.
|Candidate||CD||Net Operating Expenditures||Gen. Election Votes||$/gen elect vote|
|Kirkpatrick - W||1||2313080.23||122774||18.840|
|Barber - W||2||1254521.72||147338||8.515|
|Grijalva - W||3||934605.93||98468||9.491|
|Gosar - W||4||1089090.06||162907||6.685|
|Salmon - W||5||1049982.19||183470||5.723|
|Schweikert - W||6||1668447.82||179706||9.284|
|Pastor - W||7||637532.76||104489||6.101|
|Franks - W||8||386233.88||172809||2.235|
|Sinema - W||9||2024619.87||121881||16.611|
|Flake - W||Sen||9133038.17||1104457||8.269|
Of these, the following had
- a competitive primary and an uncompetitive general - CDs 4 (R), 5 (R), 6 (R)
- an uncompetitive primary and an uncompetive general - CDs 3 (D), 7 (D), 8 (R)
- an uncompetitive primary and a competitive general - CDs 1 (D), 2 (D and R), US Sen (D)
- a competitive primary and a competitive general - CD 9 (D and R), 1 (R), US Sen (R)
Note: "competitive" and "uncompetitive" are not synonyms for "contested" and "uncontested". In many cases, in the primary, the general, or both, there were other candidates on the ballot, but their likelihoods of winning fell into the "snowball's chance in Phoenix...in August" category. Not a commentary on the character of the "minor" candidates, just an assessment of their electability.
I would have expected that there would be a correlation between competitive races and $/vote, there doesn't seem to be one.
For example, Trent Franks (R) spent the lowest amount per vote, and his race was all but completely uncontested, with only token opposition in both the primary and the general.
On the other hand, Ann Kirkpatrick (D) spent the most money per vote, and while she had a competitive general election race against Jonathan Paton (R), she had a practically noncompetitive race (Wenona Benally Baldenegro).
There might be a way to show a correlation between money spent and votes earned, but other factors would have to be part of the formula - some combination of partisan voter registrations, partisan advantage/disadvantage, some way to account for the influence of primary election expenditures on the general election (and make no mistake, there is such an influence), and, of course, Independent Expenditures.
I can find some of the info (voter reg stuff), but does anybody have any ideas on how to find and work with the other data?