Rick Perry’s final campaign finance reports from his presidential campaign were released Monday night, and their contents are unsurprising: donations to his campaign tracked his performance, and so both tanked in the last three months of the year. (Need a refresher on Perry’s poll numbers over time? Revisit this excellent Texas Tribune interactive campaign obituary.)
In the final quarter of 2011, Perry raised a mere $2.9 million and spent more than $14 million. At the New York Times‘s Caucus blog, Nicholas Confessore points out that through the end of September Perry raised $17 million, despite announcing his candidacy a mere six weeks earlier.
Aaron Blake did the math at the Fix, calculating that Perry ultimately spent more than $1,000 for every vote. “And if you factor in the nearly $4 million spent by the pro-Perry super PAC Make Us Great Again, Perry and his supporters spent at least $1,680 per vote,” Blake wrote. “This is a striking sum.”
(To put this in perspective, Rick Santorum raised $2 million in two days after his strong showing in the Iowa caucuses. Newt Gingrich, who took his turn as front runner in late December and has been battling it out with Mitt Romney this month, raised $10 million in the final quarter of 2011 and $5 million in January, CNN reported.)
Politico‘s Dave Levinthal and Robin Bravender unpack where the money went, reporting that the bulk of Perry’s cash went to “media-related expenditures,” including $5.5 million for ad placement to Alexandria, Va.-based Paint Creek Productions (a company, it is worth noting, shares the same name with Perry’s hometown.)
Overall, however, donors were more generous during Perry’s 2010 gubernatorial race against Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison than during his bid for the White House, as the Fort Worth Star Telegram‘s Aman Batheja noted. In 2010 he raised $28 million to the $20 million he raised from August to December of 2011. (Batheja even puts together a helpful graph of Perry’s fundraising through the years.)