How Many Votes Can Campaign Money Buy?

There's dark money, grassroots and retail politicking. But at the end of the day, nothing gets the job done like good, old, cold, hard cash.

A Civil Beat analysis of campaign spending and primary election results shows a vote last month cost most major candidates in major races between $10 and $20 apiece, though the range was from $3 to $90. Those who spent more in total were more likely — though not guaranteed — to win.

The findings are incomplete because expenditures for the final weeks of the campaign are not yet available for federal races — U.S. Senate and House. The pre-primary filings cover everything through July 22, and 48-hour notices filed after that show only incoming and not outgoing money.

The picture is clearer for county level races — Honolulu mayor and City Council. Here's a look at the major candidates from those races, with the federal races below.

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