The breakdown on how much the presidential candidates spent on TV ads is stunning. Mitt Romney ran 34,281 ads costing $29M. John McCain ran 10,830 ads costing $8M. Mike Huckabee ran 5831 ads at a cost of $2.6M. What did it get them? McCain has 93 delegates (that is approximately $86,000 in ad expenditure per delegate), Romney has 59 delegates (a little more than $490,000 per delegate), and Huckabee has 40 delegates (just $65,000 per delegate).
Some commentators questioned McCain’s management skills when his campaign spent too much and ran aground last year, but he appears to have been the turnaround artist here, operating with extreme frugality and getting an excellent return on his investment (with a bank loan to assist him). He did not run an operation which was staffed to the hilt and sent out e-mails every time the candidate sneezed. There’s a lesson or two in there.