On average, campaigns directly spent $21.96 per vote in the August 6th Seattle City Council Primary Election.

Which Seattle City Council Primary candidates spent the most/least per vote? Based on preliminary numbers of direct expenditures and votes counted as of 8:00PM last night, here’s a chart. Names in bold are, at this writing, most likely to move on to the general November 5th election, though these names could change as the remaining votes come in.

Several very important caveats:

[1] This chart only includes direct expenditures by the candidate, not spending by PACs on their behalf. There was significant PAC spending in this race. Direct Expenditures are as reported by the King County Elections board as of August 6th 2019.

[2] Votes are still being counted and won’t be final for at least a week. These numbers will change; direct expenditure per vote will decline as votes come in.

The fourteen candidates who are most likely to move on to the general election (as of August 7th — again, these numbers may change) are displayed in bold.


I was interested to see that of the 14 City Council candidates most likely to move to the general, all but one — incumbent Council Member D. Juarez — participated in Alignvote. Another way to look at this: there were 13 of the 54 candidates who chose not to participate, deciding not to use the completely free platform as a way to get their stances/message to voters. In the end, all but one of the candidates who declined participation won’t advance to the General Election. No non-participating candidate who isn’t an incumbent will advance.

Alignvote delivered about 11,200+ candidate rankings during this period, and was shared a lot online. CM Juarez remains most welcome to confirm her stances at any time, and I’ll continue to reach out to her campaign office.

Two candidates: Kshama Sawant and Shaun Scott, spent more than the average per vote. Sawant’s campaign was astonishingly big-budget — she directly spent 5.5x the campaign average. (Campaign average direct expenditure: $42,539.)

Money isn’t everything, but it can perhaps help candidates overcome negatives, if focused on turnout.

Heidi Wills spent just about at overall average level on a per-vote basis (but 2x on a campaign budget overall basis.) Eleven other candidates spent less than average per vote.

Ann Davison Sattler ran a very small budget campaign and showed a lot of efficiency — doing very well, albeit in a relatively small field.

Sort By Total Votes Received (As of August 6th 2019 8:15pm)

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