September 12, 2013
Anthony Weiner (r) and Bill de Blasio during the campaign last month. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
Anthony Weiner, left, and Bill de Blasio during the New York mayoral campaign last month. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

If you’ve been following my musings for a long time, you know that I don’t believe money buys votes. As I have argued forever, if it did the history books would be filled with tales about President Ross Perot, 1996 and 2000 Republican presidential nominee Steve Forbes, Sen. Michael Huffington (R-Calif.), New York Gov. Pierre Rinfret (R) and Gov. Meg Whitman (R-Calif.).

Money gives candidates the ability to get their message out to voters. And if the voters don’t like the message said candidates don’t get the votes no matter how much money is spent. To argue otherwise is lazy and an insult to voters. Tuesday’s New York City mayoral primary only buttresses my argument.

According to a handy list by Buzzfeed’s Jacob Fischler that reflects spending per vote based on 98 percent of precincts reporting, the candidate who spent the most money per vote got the least votes. Anthony Weiner spent $148 a vote to get less than 5 percent of the vote. New York Public Advocate Bill de Blasio won the most votes in Tuesday’s Democratic primary and spent the least, $20 a vote. On the Republican side, at $169 per vote, supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis spent the most per vote of any candidate of either party. He lost out to former Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief Joe Lhota.

In short, money can’t buy you everything — especially votes.

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Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.