Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz and his super PAC allies spent more than $10 per vote on advertising ahead of Indiana's primary Tuesday.
And Donald Trump — whose campaign spent about $1.50 per vote — clobbered him anyway.
In all, Cruz and two supportive super PACs — the Club for Growth, an anti-tax organization that endorsed him, and Trusted Leadership PAC, a big-money vehicle designed to boost the U.S. senator from Texas — spent more than $4 million on television and radio advertising in Indiana, according to data provided to the Center for Public Integrity by The Tracking Firm, a nonpartisan media tracking company headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Despite the spending spree, Cruz won only about 405,000 votes, finishing in a distant second behind Trump, the front-runner who ultimately won about 590,000 votes.
Trump's campaign spent about $870,000 on TV and radio advertising in Indiana, according to The Tracking Firm. These figures don't include costs associated with online ads, direct mail, field staff, salaries, events or other expenditures.
During his victory speech Tuesday night, Trump praised his own campaign's thriftiness.
"That's something that makes me feel really, really very good," Trump said.
"There have been 60,000 negative ads [against me]," Trump continued. "The people are so smart. They don't buy it. They get it."
In fact, more than 64,000 TV ads have attacked Trump in some fashion as of Monday, including about 8,000 from Democratic Party front-runner Hillary Clinton, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG, a firm that monitors advertising on broadcast television and national — but not local — cable.
According to the Associated Press, Trump is now fewer than 200 delegates away from the magic number of 1,237 needed to officially clinch the GOP presidential nomination without a contested convention.