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What candidates paid per vote in $10M NY ad blitz

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally at Hunter's Point in the Queens borough of New York, U.S.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally at Hunter's Point in the Queens borough of New York, U.S.

And the winners of the New York primary? New York ad men.

The campaigns spent over $9.8 million on broadcast advertising in the Empire State, according to data from ad-tracking firm SMG Delta. That's the seventh-highest total for broadcast ad spending in a primary or caucus so far this season.

Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign spent over $5.7 million, the most overall and nearly twice that spent by his victorious Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. With 98 percent of votes reported as of Wednesday morning, Sanders' campaign spent over $7 per vote for ads, more than any other campaign.

Clinton spent around $3 per vote.

Sanders earned headlines in the weeks before the primary with an emotional four-minute endorsement from Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner, whose 2014 death at the hands of an New York City police officer set off protests.

Sanders has been outspending Clinton on advertising in recent months, though he had not been outspending the Republicans. NBC News reported in January that between the campaign and a super PAC, $58.8 million had been spent on then-candidate Jeb Bush's behalf. With the departures of Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, Sanders has been in a top spot for ad spending.

The Republicans spent comparatively little in New York, just over $1 million total. Almost $800,000 of that came from the Trusted Leadership PAC, which supports Ted Cruz, and the New Day Independent Media Committee, which supports John Kasich.

Donald Trump, who got 61 percent of the New York vote to Kasich's 25 percent and Cruz's 15 percent, spent only just over $67,000 in his home state. The billionaire tycoon relies more on open platforms like Twitter and has the luxury of continuous free news coverage to dispense his message.

Trump spent just 10 cents per vote. In his third-place finish, Cruz shelled out nearly $4 per vote, and Kasich spent just over $2 per vote.

Keeping New York clean

The vast majority of spending on the Democratic side has been positive, with only 8 percent going toward negative ads, according to SMG's analysis of the ads. The only negative ad was a video from the Sanders campaign that directly addressed politicians accepting speaking fees from Goldman Sachs. Clinton has been under fire for accepting $675,000 for speeches at the Wall Street firm.

Still, it was a drop in the bucket of political spending around the country. Look at Iowa for example. The candidates spent way more time in the Midwestern state because its caucuses are early and people think winning there can given a campaign momentum early on. The campaigns spent more than $80 million on advertising in Iowa this year, according to data from SMG Delta.

All the campaigns spent more in Iowa than they did in New York.

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