For politicians, every vote is priceless.
But for campaigns seeking to put a more precise figure on the investment in voter contact needed to persuade someone to pick their candidate in races featuring two or more parties, David Broockman and Joshua Kalla may have an answer.
"Our best guess would be about $3,000," Broockman told WARC in an interview. "If you are a billionaire running for some office that you value a lot, maybe $3,000 a vote is worth it to you; you say, 'I think I need a thousand more votes to win, so I have to spend $3 million dollars.'
"Maybe that trade-off is worth it; I don’t know."
This estimate was based on research conducted by Broockman, an Assistant Professor/Political Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Kalla, a Ph.D. student in Political Science at the University of California. The resultant paper, entitled "The Minimal Persuasive Effects of Campaign Contact in General Elections: Evidence from 49 Field Experiments", published in the American Political Science Review.