Well, I’d also say that depends on what level of office that you’re running for. Obviously, a run for a local city council is going to cost less (provided it’s not one of the major cities).
And, despite what some people say, the cost of elections is trending downwards tremendously. Take a look at what Zephyr Teachout was able to do in the NY Governor’s race a few years ago, when she gave sitting Governor (and part of a family dynasty) Andrew Cuomo a run for his money and she literally came out of nowhere to compete for not only a state position, but a statewide position (which obviously costs a lot more due to the size of the state).
Or, David Brat’s victory over Eric Cantor. That was historical in the terms of a sitting Majority Leader losing to someone who had never run before, and was outraised by over a twenty-fold advantage.
I’m not disputing that your MA estimate is off, but also, direct mail? It helps, but I believe that direct mail and ads via traditional media are providing way less bang for the buck than a strong digital campaign combined with good old fashioned community organizing.
By the way, we’ve done the research on Middlesex County, MA for RunForOffice.org, and MA is one of the most challenging states regarding compiling information! We’re definitely looking for some more local volunteers or interns, so if you have suggestions, I’d appreciate it. I can be reached at email@example.com