September 19, 2016

"[O]f the $149,912,723 millon in booked TV and radio spending through election day for these three presidential candidates, $145,299,727 is being spent by the Clinton campaign combined with pro-Clinton PACs."

Reports Ad Age.

How can there be such a disparity?! Even if he minimizes the value of advertising and puts most of his faith in free media — funny that the Trump-hating media won't just cut him off — shouldn't he do a little more advertising than that?

There's the theory that he's saving it all up for October. The ads aren't booked yet, but they are coming. And the Hillary campaign doesn't know where they are coming, what the electoral-college strategy will be when it comes down to the end and what particular issues will be targeted to those states. All that will matter in the end is who can tip those last few states.

I like to look at the "winding path to 270 electoral votes" graphic at FiveThirtyEight — partly because I'm fascinated by the resemblance to intestines...



... but mostly because it shows so vividly how focused the fight really is. Will Trump suddenly dump money in one of the slightly less obvious states like Wisconsin or Virginia, going big on some targeted issue that will catch Clinton flat-footed? That can be done, and it will be a demonstration of Trump's self-vaunted flexibility.

The big disparity Ad Age points to is in booked ads. That money is already committed and Trump's campaign can see where it is. The withholding of money on the Trump side is so extreme. It should be quite alarming to the Clinton side.

113 comments:

veni vidi vici said...

It all comes down to the vaunting and the garnering. When morale is at a nadir, don't forget the garnering, which is the crux of the matter.

rhhardin said...

It looks like an early IUD to me.

David Begley said...

As Meadhouse goes, so goes Wisconsin.

Trump wins MN and WI. Terror attack in St. Cloud swings both states to Trump.

Brando said...

I don't know how much use paid ads really are in an election like this--with both candidates so well known and there just not being much left that anyone doesn't know about them. What could a last minute ad say that would sway you? What could an ad tell you about Hillary or Trump that you didn't already suspect, and either agree with or dismiss already? I think the Clinton ads haven't had much effect on Trump simply because anyone seeing them already can't stand Trump or will tune out the ads.

Ground game is a bit different--getting old people to polls, getting supporters registered--that stuff is essential at least for Democrats who usually (at least until Obama) have trouble getting their supporters to actually vote. And the rest is simply events--what happens in the next few weeks and how will voters view the candidates based on that. But the air game only really matters when the candidates are less known quantities.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

[O]f the $149,912,723 millon in booked TV and radio spending through election day for these three presidential candidates, $145,299,727 is being spent by the Clinton campaign combined with pro-Clinton PACs.

Hillary Clinton is the poster child for everything Bernie Sanders campaigned against.

Darrell said...

Hillary should go with the bobblehead routine for the next month. Everyone loves bobbleheads. Trust me.

rehajm said...

As election graphics go what could be more appropriate than a giant colon?

tim in vermont said...

To me, I figure Trump has done me a solid by not injecting politics into my Red Sox watching. Hillary has, of course, I change the channel immediately. Why Hillary is advertising in New England seems a mystery, but it is probably just that she has to share the money with the media outlets she depends on to carry her water. Conflict of interest, you say? Naah! This is how this country is run.

MayBee said...

My theory is people hate political ads, and there is a huge problem with oversaturation and diminishing returns.

Tommy Duncan said...

Repeating my comment from yesterday:

Trump is a business man that looks for results and return on investment. He won't waste money doing things the same old way. Trump is quick to recognize a new market and is using innovative ways to reach that market. --And, of course, he is a natural entertainer who is enjoying what he is doing. Does anyone seriously think Hillary is a likeable "natural" who is enjoying this campaign?

bagoh20 said...

You know what you get at the end of the intestines after all that process? The country needs a really big diaper.

traditionalguy said...

That much money is a drop in the bucket if it will keeps the Clinton corruption going on. Huma Abedin is Hillary's Secretary of State designee. And she will work closely with Chelsea who will be running The Foundation for Big Donor Money.

rehajm said...

The Brits love them some silly electoral graphics.


Election Night in Britain is the best!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

tim in vermont said...

Why Hillary is advertising in New England seems a mystery...

New Hampshire is right near the middle of the digestive tract.

John said...

It is amazing how much money Crooked Hilary is spending and how little she is getting for it. We all know that it is only money, and who spends the most, that determines who wins an election. That's why it is so important to amend the 1st Amendment.

All that money (plus all the press support) and she can't beat a nobody blowhard that is spending no money? All that money and the best she can do it tie him?

Maybe all the bullshit about Citizens United is simply that: Bullshit.

John Henry

bagoh20 said...

Hillary is demonstrating her management style: spending lots of other people's money to make herself look good, and failing. Vote for that, so she scale up the process.

Cornroaster said...

This shows the difference between a politician and a businessman. Hillary throws money all over the place because it isn't her's, so its not a problem. Trump realizes that every dollar spent needs maximum effect, so he is conserving it for when it counts.

Tommy Duncan said...

The country needs a really big diaper.

There are some who believe those oversized pants suits cover really big diapers...

AllenS said...

Here's one of Hillary's ads.

Republicans against Trump

The reason that this ad isn't worth the money making it, is the fact that most of Trump's supporters can't stand the Republicans in the ad. Let me also add that neither do Independents, and Democrats who will vote for Trump this year, like these Republicans in the ad.

Except for Chuck.

Bob Ellison said...

Great graphic! That should be taught in graphic-design and charting classes.

Henry said...

Why Hillary is advertising in New England seems a mystery, ...

New Hampshire.

DrMaturin said...

Hillary Clinton is waging a perfect 1990's style campaign. Flooding the airwaves with negative ads. An army of surrogates. Excellent message discipline (count the number of times someone said "powering through" last week). The best consultants, pollsters and focus group leaders. Only it isn't the 1990's anymore.

Rae said...

Hillary is so well known by the general public that i don't think ads will be effective in her case. Trump just has to convince people that he won't slap the big red nuke button as soon as he gets into office.

Mike said...

She's pouring stupid amounts of ad money into national campaigns (the Olympics, CNN, FOX, probably MSNBC) when the commercials themselves don't have much to say. And as I posted on another thread here, at least one Hillary ad consists of Trump saying outrageous things ("You tell them to go BEEP themselves!") that make my wife and I laugh and AGREE with Trump. The ad is constructed so that it mentions foreign relations and makes it sound like Trump is cussing out the Russians or Saudis. Every time we hear it we think YES, that is the kind of man I want in office now.

This has to be 100% out of phase with what she expected the ad to do. Her ad has no positive virtues. She has no plans for the future, no words of wisdom, just tearing down her opponent. Or trying to, with laughable (literally) results that highlight her opponent's strengths!

Mary Beth said...

$149,912,723 millon?

Gusty Winds said...

Rope-a-dope

damikesc said...

I notice that the usual concerns about the "corrosive effect of money on politics" seem muted.

I don't know how much use paid ads really are in an election like this--with both candidates so well known and there just not being much left that anyone doesn't know about them. What could a last minute ad say that would sway you? What could an ad tell you about Hillary or Trump that you didn't already suspect, and either agree with or dismiss already? I think the Clinton ads haven't had much effect on Trump simply because anyone seeing them already can't stand Trump or will tune out the ads.

When she was doing well, her ads were positive.

Now, they are a constant, never-ending drumbeat of negatives. It doesn't help when the candidate herself is nororiously unlikeable. It feeds into the overall negative image most people have. Lindsay Graham doesn't like Trump? I'm hardly a Trump fan, but I don't like Graham much at all.

As much as some may hate him, Trump doesn't seem to treating campaigning as a chore that is beneath him. Hillary does.

Hillary Clinton is the poster child for everything Bernie Sanders campaigned against.

Yet he enthusiastically endorsed her and has appeared at campaign events for her.

It seems like he wasn't serious about his "issues"...

My theory is people hate political ads, and there is a huge problem with oversaturation and diminishing returns.

Didn't Jeb Bush demonstrate that well? No amount of ads can bolster a lackluster candidate.

Birkel said...

The 538 numbers are interesting.

The Reuters numbers disagree in several important states.

Given that both are propaganda arms of Democrats, who knows?

tim in vermont said...

Except for Chuck.

Yeah! She should run an ad with Chuck! That will seal it for her!

Steve said...

Michigan and Pennsylvania are ripe for Trump to pick up. Expect huge spending in the rust belt. The only question is"can Dems steal enough votes in Philadelphia, Cleveland and Detroit to hold these states?"

It's alimentary.

Rae said...

Hillary could have saved herself a lot of money by just running ads from the last two campaigns and just dubbing in "Trump" for "Romney" or "McCain". It's not like she's doing anything original.

Goldenpause said...

Trump understands reality TV and how to get his message delivered at minimal cost per delivery. He has been a shameless self-promoter for almost as long as Hillary! has been a grifter. I suspect that Trump will spend all of October keeping Hillary! off-balance with innovative tactics she and her handlers have not anticipated. Since I suspect she has some kind of movement disorder, the last thing she can tolerate is to be off-balance.

Gusty Winds said...

I can't turn the channel fast enough when a political commercial is aired. They are ridiculous and aimed at third graders.

Things are a lot different now. DVR's are common and we record stuff we like to watch, just to speed through the commercials and turn a half hour show into 20 minutes. If Trump is smart he'll save his commercial money for sporting events where the action is live, and people actually sit through the whole thing. NFL. NBA. And with the Cubs coming up in the MLB playoffs I would suspect those ratings to be Yuge.

This again demonstrates why Clinton and her campaign are all about yesterday.

Jason said...

Dramatic footage from inside the Clinton Campaign headquarters:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rz80K6pDC4

Mike said...

For all the ink the stained wretches of the DNC-Nedia complex have spilled trying to convince us of Hillary's brilliance over the years, she really has not lived up to any of it. Her campaign is as dull and lifeless as her eyes. Her messaging is clunky, scripted and has suffered at least 300 reboots, resets and restarts in the last two years. Her lies are becoming more unbelievable and transparent. Face it, she ain't that bright. And her "political smarts" are nonexistent.

She's a tired politician tarnished by years of secretive and strange behavior with a tin ear, a trainwhistle voice and a ton of baggage too heavy to carry across the finish line. Trump is so lucky she was the one the other party chose.

Henry said...

It's an entertaining graphic. The "winding path" metaphor supports a narrative, but it is just noise from a data point of view. It also forces some bad design decisions, including the abbreviation of multiple district states. How many people know which state is NE? And then you have NE 1st, NE 2nd, NE 3rd.

I'm curious about why the sort isn't fully optimized. Each path winds from a darker to a lighter color, but various states/districts are out of sequence -- NE 1st for example.

Updating the path over time means either abandoning the sort or moving states around on the path and making date-comparisons less useful.

If the sort was based on a certain benchmark date, a later version of the chart would show which states had moved most in the polls, which would be an interesting data point.

Chuck said...

There is the possibility that there will not be enough open broadcast slots by then. No matter how much the Trump campaign might have to spend, Clinton and the Republican/Democrat U.S. Senate races will have bought it all up.

chickelit said...

Trump threatens the media-election complex by withholding funds. This explains the Press' general hostility to him.

rhhardin said...

They are ridiculous and aimed at third graders.

They are aimed at women.

MayBee said...

Her ad spending reminds me of her Secretary of State travel. As long as there is a lot of it, she thinks she's accomplishing great things.

Bruce Hayden said...

Then there is the question of where all that money came from. Sure, some of it came from small donors, who called up and signed up for $25, and ended up being charged multiple times, for just less than $100 (which is apparently the limit at which credit card companies cut off vendors if there are too many fraudulent charges). But huge amounts of the money is coming from her stable of very rich donors. She will show up at a house in the Hmptons, Babs will sing, and Crooked will walk away with a million or so. Sure, there are supposed to be limits on campaign contributions to get and keep the big money out of politics. But, there has been bundling for several cycles. But what her campaign has truly mastered depends on the truism that money is fungible. A $100k is split between the national and state parties, and then they essentially all rebate it back to her campaign. Sometimes so blatantly that their checks to her campaign are identical in size and quantity to the checks they got through her. A giant, quasi-legal, industrial grade, money laundering scheme.

Dude1394 said...

The clinton ad campaign is the same as obamas was, spend all summer painting Romney as a murdering hitler. The problem is that trump refuses to stop and let it happen. He continues to campaign and do it in ways that are interesting.

Romney/McCain just took it. People like to see that their candidate will not put up with lies and slander.

Darrell said...

Mary Beth was the only one to pick up on the math error. Good on you, Mary Beth!

Dude1394 said...

It appears to me (or at least to my google-targeted-adwords) that trump may be spending a heck of a lot on the web? I cannot say for sure since if I saw a hillary ad I would probably yak up on my screen.

But he is everywhere that I browse.

Paddy O said...

Who watches ads these days?

Since I don't generally watch sports (I love playing sports, not watching them), and DVR shows I like or watch them on Amazon/Netflix, I can't remember the last time I watched a whole commercial. I have an adblocker on my browser so don't see most ads online. I don't think I'm unusual.

So, paid ads involve paying an increasing amount of money to reach a dwindling audience of people who watch live television. Not only a dwindling audience. A dwindling audience of a narrow demographic.

What are the ways to reach those who do not watch live TV or have landlines and who don't see internet ads? How are each of the candidates doing with these ways?

Hillary would definitely be dominating if this was the mid to late 20th century. But it's not, and suggests something about how she uses money and adapts to new situations.

campy said...

"I don't know how much use paid ads really are in an election like this--with both candidates so well known and there just not being much left that anyone doesn't know about them."

I feel the same way about the debates. Why should I bother to watch, when there is literally nothing [one of] the candidates could say that could change my opinion?

Big Mike said...

@Mike, I suspect Donald Trump factored the likelihood that his opponent would be Hillary Clinton into his decision to run. So did 16 other candidates!

Mac McConnell said...

Grifter Hillary's campaign saves a lot of money by pre-booking ads, there is a large discounted rate. What Trump is planning is more expensive per ad.

Henry said...

I suspect Hillary is counting on a budget of "infinite". And for good reason.

Birkel said...

Mac McConnell knows what Trump is planning?

Rick said...

bagoh20 said...
You know what you get at the end of the intestines after all that process? The country needs a really big diaper.


The intestine as a symbol of the process seems random and unassociated with the subject unless it's understood this way. This had to be intentional.

Mac McConnell said...

"I feel the same way about the debates. Why should I bother to watch, when there is literally nothing [one of] the candidates could say that could change my opinion?"

It's fun to watch the debates for no other reason to see through the lies the media human centipede's anal pore spews the next morning.

Rick said...

damikesc said...
I notice that the usual concerns about the "corrosive effect of money on politics" seem muted.


Why it's almost like they don't believe their own rhetoric. Or maybe they think spending in support of the left wing agenda launders money. How convenient.

rhhardin said...

I see a lot of ads about not pirating DVDs. They put them on DVDs.

It could cost you a dinner with Hillary and 5 years in prison.

Brando said...

"I feel the same way about the debates. Why should I bother to watch, when there is literally nothing [one of] the candidates could say that could change my opinion?"

I'd normally agree, except with these two characters--former friends, now fighting in a vicious mud fight!--there's a decent chance it'll be entertaining.

But I don't expect a single person's mind to be changed. Everyone thinks their "own guy" won the debate, no matter what happened, and even in those rare moments when they think their own guy "lost" the debate, they still will vote for him/her.

I have a feeling Trump may be subdued and disciplined, as he realizes his numbers have gone up when he does that (and lets people focus on Hillary, and not like what they see). He may try to do what Reagan did in 1980, and just convince casual observers that he isn't so scary. It won't get Hillary fans to switch their votes, but might convince some disgusted conservatives to come out and vote for him.

Johnson and Stein being out of the debates helps Hillary a bit. They seem to be taking more from her than from Trump right now.

Brando said...

"Why it's almost like they don't believe their own rhetoric. Or maybe they think spending in support of the left wing agenda launders money. How convenient. "

They didn't mind when Obama raised and spent record sums of money in his races. If any Democrat was hesitant before that, they aren't now.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My sense is that the traditional campaign tactics are no longer effective or relevant.

Big ad campaigns on television? Who watches the ads anymore? We pre record our shows and then fast forward through the ads. OR....we put the show on hold for about 15 to 20 minutes and then skip ahead through the ads. Live television watching is a thing of the past. Most of the money spent on TV ads is just wasted for the effect that they hope to achieve.

Telephone campaign calls? Give me a break. Who doesn't have caller ID? Caller ID even shows up on our tv screen when we are using the satellite. Do I know your number? Is it blocked? Am I busy? Talk to the answering machine. If I accidentally pick up and it is a political call, we hang up....unless we have been drinking a couple of scotches and then decide that it might be fun to argue and make the caller miserable for a few minutes.

How many people even have a land line phone? Many people only use cell phones and calling them is not only annoying but worthless. The area code on the number means nothing. You can have a San Francisco area code and live in Denver.

Someone coming knocking at your door? Seriously? In today's environment you want people to go randomly to neighborhoods and expose themselves to potential danger or really angry people who have been disturbed in their homes?

Billboards. Only the driver might see it briefly. The rest of the people in the car are probably texting, snapchatting, facebook using. NOW....there is where you can be effective. Social media. Internet. But Hillary barely knows how to use an email account or an ancient Blackberry.

Trump waiting until the last to book his ads may be more expensive but as any wise business person knows the cost is immaterial to the effectiveness of the process and the outcome of the final result. So....Trump spends wisely in areas where the need is the most and the effect is the best. Targeting instead of the shotgun approach.

Will it work? Well. That remains to be seen.

rhhardin said...

Scroll down to the Lippes Loupe, you doubters.

rhhardin said...

I have a land-line phone (ringer has been off for 25 years) and no cell phone. Not an early adopter.

Hagar said...

How much is a "millon"?

Here in River City there has only been a couple of PAC ads running for Trump. In one of them, the ad is pretty good, but then it takes off with a breathless rapid fire used car sales pitch, which is exteremely annoying, so it probably works out to be more like an anti-Trump ad.

Mac McConnell said...

Birkel said...
"Mac McConnell knows what Trump is planning?"

No, no more than 538 does, I've been out of politics for decades, but I am Deplorable. Anyone in business or politics know the huge difference in cost between pre-book and on spot ads. That said Trump campaign is dynamic like a Seal Team, Hillary's is still fighting the "JV".

Chuck said...

Big Mike said...
@Mike, I suspect Donald Trump factored the likelihood that his opponent would be Hillary Clinton into his decision to run. So did 16 other candidates!


Some of the truest words ever about this campaign. And so tragic, that it was Trump who got the nomination.

Chuck said...

rhhardin said...
I have a land-line phone (ringer has been off for 25 years) and no cell phone. Not an early adopter.


Has Ted Kaczynski endorsed Trump yet?

Darrell said...

Ted Kaczynski would endorse Hillary, solely on the basis of her taking the US back to the Stone Age.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why should I bother to watch, [the debates] when there is literally nothing [one of] the candidates could say that could change my opinion?

I'm hoping to see Hillary spaz out, cough herself unconscious or otherwise melt down like the Wicked Witch after Trump....I mean Dorothy throws a bucket of water on her.

Seriously. I doubt that there will be debates. Hillary is extremely ill, unfit and unable to withstand the stress. The #zombiehillary tag is all over the internet after her statements she made about the bombing/or not bombing in NYC. She looks like the walking dead or someone so stoned out that she doesn't know what day it is.

rhhardin said...

Trump's plan to wear a debate tie with flashing red lights is sinister.

John said...

Blogger Mac McConnell said...

Grifter Hillary's campaign saves a lot of money by pre-booking ads, there is a large discounted rate. What Trump is planning is more expensive per ad.

true, Mac.

But will it be more expensive per vote gained?

And all votes gained are not equal. A vote gained in CA is probably not worth anything as it will not be enough to get any electoral votes. A vote gained in NY, if it helps put him over the top there may be priceless.

John Henry

MadisonMan said...

I see those numbers and think of Jeb!

All that money, thrown away.

readering said...

I have no idea what the Trump campaign's thinking is other than that they can't spend money on TV ads they don't have. Which brings up the whole issue of Trump funding his campaign from his coffers. Doesn't seem to be happening.

Darrell said...

I am equipping photographers with vintage Speed Graphic cameras with old-time bulb flashes that make the loud POP when they go off to take pictures of Hillary and Trump when the debate starts. I checked with medical professionals who tell me it is perfectly safe for pneumonia patients.

Mac McConnell said...

John that's why you only carpet bomb centers of government and war production. Let's just hope The Grifter learns Jebb's Lesson.

EMD said...

"I feel the same way about the debates. Why should I bother to watch, when there is literally nothing [one of] the candidates could say that could change my opinion?"

It's not the debates that count, it's the media telling you who won.

Brando said...

"My sense is that the traditional campaign tactics are no longer effective or relevant."

I wouldn't write the obit just yet--things are different this year because Trump is already a well-known celebrity who can phone into any news or opinion show and get on the air just like that, and his tweets are followed by the entire media. Other candidates who aren't already famous can't just do that going forward. So a lot of advertising expense is still needed.

I think less of it will be traditional TV ads, though--there's more to gain with viral videos, social media and e-mailers that get around to people who won't just sit through a TV ad (not to mention many of us cable-cutters who don't watch much broadcast TV that would feature ads). But I don't think we're going to see a campaign quite like this until Kanye West runs in 2020.

Brando said...

"Which brings up the whole issue of Trump funding his campaign from his coffers. Doesn't seem to be happening."

When it's all said and done I think he's going to have made money on this (and I don't mean with a media empire if he loses--I mean on the actual campaign itself).

rhhardin said...

Hillary still has the vote fraud advantage. There's a huge infrastructure.

tim in vermont said...

I have no idea what the Trump campaign's thinking is other than that they can't spend money on TV ads they don't have.

Yes, because democracy demands hundreds of millions of dollars need flow into the coffers of media outlets. That's how good government works!

eric said...

There must be other reasons to spend that money than for direct votes.

She has ads here in Washington state. Where she is ahead in the polls by 18 points. What's the point of having ads here?

Michael K said...

"Why Hillary is advertising in New England seems a mystery... "

Maine and New Hampshire.

The debate(s) will be about whether she freezes. Somebody in the Trump camp may be researching how to block her ear piece frequency. That may be answers or, more likely, soothing stuff to keep her from freezing with stress.

"We're here. Just keep talking ."

Watch the freeze in August and what the big black USSS detail chief said to her on the video.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Pray tell you...people...who think Trump is in this to make money...how much money, do you think, he could possibly make, net net?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

For those concerned about the money issue in the campaigns and the disparity in spending.

Trump shatters GOP records with small donors From Politico, no less. And he isn't doing it by stealing and scamming from his supporters like Hillary ;-)

Yancey Ward said...

I have always thought television ads ineffective for politics, but that is a trend that is clearly evident today even if, maybe, it wasn't 20 years ago. As others have pointed out, the DVR, Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix are making paid television advertising obsolete, and quickly at that. I think Clinton is wasting every bit of that money, and I don't think Trump is waiting to pounce at the right moment with his own yuuuuge buys- he doesn't need to do it, and he won't do it.

The actual campaign stops where you get people to show up to hear you speak have always been the best way to spend campaign dollars, and that is even more so today. It gets you word of mouth support and it gets you on television during non-commercial air time, and it gets you in the newspapers for free. Trump is killing Clinton in the kinds of the most effective campaign tactics, and it shows.

Mac McConnell said...

Trump pretty much self funded during the primaries, he used his company assets billing the campaign, then forgave the debt. I think he injected $2 million in June.

In the general all bets are off, he has proactively asked for donations. Does the Grifter have any of her own skin in the game or just Wall Street's.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

As someone said above thread, spending money to garner votes in some States is not as relevant or important as in others. For example California: money spent by Trump here would be not as effective as money spend in NY or other States that have a chance of going (electoral college wise) for Trump.

However, I do think, from my anecdotal observations, that Trump may surprise in the amount of support he has in California. I don't think he will win the State as a whole because of the urban areas that will always vote Democrat no matter what. BUT....I see a lot of support in surprising areas. Some of our acquaintances who are absolute liberal leftards (affectionately named by us since they are actually pretty nice otherwise) have stated that they are never going to vote Hillary. That they hate her for her lying, cheating ways. Will they vote for Trump? Actually a few have said that they plan to do so. Others won't vote at all or plan to go 3rd party. Many of the Mexicans, who are legally here or who are 2nd and 3rd generation, that we know also support Trump.

I believe the ground swell of support for Trump and the distaste for Hillary in California may make the race closer than we think. Probably not enough to win the State's electoral votes.

So. While Trump could spend 'some' money in California and roll the dice on it, the funds would be better spent in areas where there is a higher chance of winning the electoral votes.

Just my on the ground observation.

Brando said...

"As someone said above thread, spending money to garner votes in some States is not as relevant or important as in others."

The state by state breakdowns could work in Trump's favor. The Dems have a natural electoral vote advantage (locked in most bigger states) but Hillary's advantages over Trump in certain demographics are concentrated in some non-competitive states--it's why she does better than normal in TX and GA (which she'd only win if it were a total blowout) and CA (which she's going to win regardless) but may be more vulnerable in the Rust Belt.

The GOP's best use of money at this point is building a ground game in FL, NC and OH. They'll need other states too, but without at least FL and OH it's toast town.

Forget TV ads. They're as useful in a Hillary/Trump election as muskets would have been in Vietnam.

Mike said...

Do R's need a "ground game"? Are there that many voters who need a ride to the polls? Or a last-minute phone call to urge them to the poll? With the enthusiasm gap being what it is, I don't know if this makes a difference any longer.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

FYI- The graphic in this post is out-of-date. 538 has flipped Nevada to Trump.

tim in vermont said...

It's not just Brexit either. Merkel in Germany is being punished by the voters in one more by-election. The trend seems to be Trump's friend, right now. I am sure, like the Brexit voters, these voters in Germany are being scolded non-top for their 'xenophobia.'

eric said...


Blogger Mike said...
Do R's need a "ground game"? Are there that many voters who need a ride to the polls? Or a last-minute phone call to urge them to the poll? With the enthusiasm gap being what it is, I don't know if this makes a difference any longer.


Democrats are very helpful in their ground game. They take large vans to old folks homes and drive them to the polls. Many of them have trouble voting on their own. Eye site issues, or problems reading the language, whatever. Fortunately, young college students working on the get out the vote efforts can accompany them I to the voting booth and help them vote.

It's a wonderful thing, if you're a Democrat.

Brando said...

"Do R's need a "ground game"? Are there that many voters who need a ride to the polls? Or a last-minute phone call to urge them to the poll? With the enthusiasm gap being what it is, I don't know if this makes a difference any longer."

They still do, though the Dems benefit from it more than they do (traditionally, GOP voters were likely to be already registered, regular voters, while Dems tend to be more transient (college kids, lower class migrant workers)). But Trump is counting on a lot of "new" voters (so they say) which may include more non-registered voters, and lower middle class voters who tend to be more likely to have moved recently.

It's also about engaging the more "soft" supporters, who might prefer one candidate but not enough to vote--Obama's team did that a lot in the '08 primaries to gain ground on Clinton. I don't know if Clinton or Trump are doing this much.

I know Dems (at least in local elections) often push it beyond "help get voters to the polls" and cross into outright bribery (free groceries and gas cards to voters).

damikesc said...

Then there is the question of where all that money came from. Sure, some of it came from small donors, who called up and signed up for $25, and ended up being charged multiple times, for just less than $100 (which is apparently the limit at which credit card companies cut off vendors if there are too many fraudulent charges).

And why isn't THAT a bigger scandal? Stealing money from poor people dumb enough to donate to you once, and at amounts small enough to avoid fraud detection? And then giving the donor a headache when they try and get the money back? This is horrifying.

Anyone in business or politics know the huge difference in cost between pre-book and on spot ads. That said Trump campaign is dynamic like a Seal Team, Hillary's is still fighting the "JV".

He could also complain that the media is giving Hillary "favorable" rates for ads over his. The voters aren't going to care about discounts for pre-buying ads, etc. And the press will look like complete dunces trying to explain it.

I wouldn't write the obit just yet--things are different this year because Trump is already a well-known celebrity who can phone into any news or opinion show and get on the air just like that, and his tweets are followed by the entire media. Other candidates who aren't already famous can't just do that going forward. So a lot of advertising expense is still needed.

To me, Jeb Bush is evidence it doesn't work. Yes, Trump has celebrity. But Bush lost to plenty of other people as well. He didn't come in second. And he had way more money than anybody else and endorsements out the wazoo. That he flamed out so spectacularly is a sign that the old-style campaign doesn't work. Trump's campaign, as I said in the primaries, has been borderline brilliant and should be studied in the future.

Honestly, the "good government" crowd should ADORE Trump. He is running a campaign at a fairly low cost --- certainly dramatically lower than Hillary. If he wins, though, campaign consultants might become suicidal.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Weird that you don't hear much about Money In Politics lately.
Weird that the Media hasn't used the phrase "Citizens United" much lately.
Weird that all those earnest Bernie Bros who were so against big money have been so quite lately.

Just weird, huH?

rehajm said...

FYI- The graphic in this post is out-of-date. 538 has flipped Nevada to Trump.

Also of note is the age of the polling from swing states. 538 is still heavily weighting polls from August in CO WI MI PA, with little/none since Hillary's lost weekend.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Maybe all the bullshit about Citizens United is simply that: Bullshit.

I had a librarian tell me she thought corporations weren't people, so they shouldn't have first amendment rights.

I offered to escort her to her house to review her personal library, her music collection, newspapers and magazines, and even the radio stations programmed into her car stereo (only one - NPR!), and help her chuck all of them which had been illegally published by a corporation into a big bonfire in her back yard. Strangely, she refused my generous offer.

Mike said...

I had a librarian tell me she thought corporations weren't people...

My answers range from "Well then, what are they made up of?" to "You're right and I should be able to tell CNN to shut up since they are a corporation" and the apparently thoughtful but really sarcastic "Is the NYT a corporation or people?"

Progressivism means having to hold so many contrary ideas at once it would hurt my head to go through life. Maybe that's why they all look so sour and act so stupid.

Bill said...

"[O]f the $149,912,723 millon in booked TV and radio spending through election day for these three presidential candidates, $145,299,727 is being spent by the Clinton campaign ...
If Clinton is only spending $145 million, one wonders who's spending the other $149 trillion....

tcrosse said...

Here in Nevada the anti-Trump ads are getting heavy air-play, but they seem not to be moving the needle as intended. There are a few rare pro-HRC ads regarding Solar Energy, and they actually aren't too awful. Harry Reid commands a large ground-force, the foot-soldiers of which are SEIU and Culinary Union. He mobilized them for HRC when it looked like Bernie had a shot in the primaries, so I expect more of the same in the general. Also, he is heavily invested in seeing that his senate seat goes to a Dem, so we can expect lots of GOTV. It looks like Harry is shitting his pants because he may not be able to deliver.
I really don't care for Trump, but the Schadenfreud potential of a Trump victory is delicious. Besides which I care even less for HRC, or what's left of her.

Brando said...

"To me, Jeb Bush is evidence it doesn't work. Yes, Trump has celebrity. But Bush lost to plenty of other people as well. He didn't come in second. And he had way more money than anybody else and endorsements out the wazoo. That he flamed out so spectacularly is a sign that the old-style campaign doesn't work. Trump's campaign, as I said in the primaries, has been borderline brilliant and should be studied in the future."

I wouldn't go so far as to say it "doesn't work"--it worked too well as recently as '12, because Romney was not well defined so his primary opponents and then later Obama were able to define him (not just through ads, but those ads did help). Jeb's attacks were mostly spent attacking Rubio at first, and probably wouldn't have helped much against Trump because Trump was already a known quantity at that point. It's hard to figure how that race could have gone without Trump in it--he sort of defined the primaries.

As for the way Trump did it, who could have copied it? I can't picture say Rubio just sticking with a Twitter campaign and calling into Fox shows and always getting on the air--it just works better when you're an entertainer. Besides, as someone above pointed out, sometimes the problem isn't the tactics, but the product being sold. Jeb just never had a compelling reason to be president and it showed.

"Honestly, the "good government" crowd should ADORE Trump. He is running a campaign at a fairly low cost --- certainly dramatically lower than Hillary. If he wins, though, campaign consultants might become suicidal."

Campaign pros have been overrated and overpaid, though a good one really is worth it--years from now we'll know just how valuable Conway was for Trump (compared to say Lewandowski). But I do think that while Trump's "celebrity" campaign can't be copied by any non-celebrity candidate, this election will show the diminishing returns of "air war" campaigning and maybe lead to cheaper and more effective campaigns.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Don't sneer at Lewandowski, he got Trump the nom. Horses for courses.

Joe said...

Contrary to "common knowledge" advertising in all forms is extremely ineffective. About the only time it can be somewhat effective is when introducing a new product, but even then knowing about a product and buying it are two very different things. What's interesting is that some, if not most, of the well known advertising campaigns were complete failures in actually moving product.

Back after Pepsi paid Michael Jackson a lot of money, the evidence was that Pepsi's increased sales didn't cover the cost of the ad campaign. Turns out, most people buy whatever's on sale in front of the store. (In other words, buying the right shelf space and running sales are THE most effective promotional devices.)

While I can't prove it, I strongly suspect that political advertising can actually become detrimental to a candidate. Above all, he/she wears out their welcome. Second, it makes them look desperate.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Progressivism means having to hold so many contrary ideas at once it would hurt my head to go through life.

A friend who claims he's a moderate Republican told me that John McCain is claiming he will be a check against a President Hillary.

To which I laughed. I told him that McCain, Feingold and Hillary will gladly team up to eliminate the 1st Amendment - none of the three believe people or corporations should be able to run ads critical of them before an election.

damikesc said...

Campaign pros have been overrated and overpaid, though a good one really is worth it--years from now we'll know just how valuable Conway was for Trump (compared to say Lewandowski). But I do think that while Trump's "celebrity" campaign can't be copied by any non-celebrity candidate, this election will show the diminishing returns of "air war" campaigning and maybe lead to cheaper and more effective campaigns.

I'm thinking more along the lines of subcontracting out campaign stuff. It looks, A LOT, like he had Lewandowski for the primary, whats-his-face to secure the nomination at the convention, and then his current team for the actual campaign. He did not seem to expect one guy to do all of the work and seemed to have no problem turfing under-performing people. He hired them for a job and then dismissed them when the job was done or they proved unable to handle additional jobs.

The heavy usage of media and viral internet worked well...but he also had the benefit of the alt-right, who while small are hella active, to pimp the hell out of his message. And they managed to avoid being racist et al and were effective enough to royally piss off Hillary.

Achilles said...

"To which I laughed. I told him that McCain, Feingold and Hillary will gladly team up to eliminate the 1st Amendment - none of the three believe people or corporations should be able to run ads critical of them before an election."

"Will gladly" or already have?

Bill Peschel said...

"I had a librarian tell me she thought corporations weren't people..."

I would have answered that we need to ban spending by unions, since they aren't people either. That usually shuts them up.

As for Pennsylvania, I can only say (since we don't have cable) that I've received two big mailings from Trump. My wife is a Democrat, but has received nothing from Hillary. We've gotten a couple of flyers from Sen. Toomey, and nothing from McGinty, who's as crooked as Hillary.

We have gotten a number of survey calls. We responded to a few. One was definitely a push poll for Toomey, and the other a neutral poll about Obama and the presidency.

As for signs, I've seen a couple Hillary bumper stickers, but a few more Trump signs.

Mac McConnell said...

Hillary's default is pissed off while lying.

Bill said...

Bill Peschel said..."As for signs, I've seen a couple Hillary bumper stickers, but a few more Trump signs.
I think I'm seeing more Obama bumper stickers than Hillary's.

Mike said...

This article has some good reporting on why advertising isn't working like it used to, and those reasons can be summed up as this is one unique race with crazy characters.

Chris Williams said...

Either that or Trump is a plant for Clinton to win, and why even pretend to waste a bunch of money. How you could come to any other conclusion than that is beyond me. Someone who wants to win the presidency, doesn't just hold back advertising commitments. What if the slots get booked?

Even if he was broke, he'd be making commitments left and right and lining up ways to pay them. No one runs a campaign on, "let's try something totally new, which is spend nothing".

Joe said...

Why are people so convinced that advertising simply wins campaigns when there it little to no evidence that it does? The "respect" for advertising is way out-of-proportion to how effective it actually is.

(For those who disagree; show me the actual cause-effect numbers, not just correlations. What William Goldman said about Hollywood is apropos: Nobody knows anything.)

Alex said...

The only ones enthusiastic about Shrillary are the raging feminists who believe she will nominate 2 more Ruth Bader Ginsbergs to the Supreme Court.

Alex said...

A lefty-majority SCOTUS would lay down a ruling that the wage gap is a REAL thing and immediately mandate companies increase female wages by the disputed amount. If you don't think that can happen, think again.

cubanbob said...

Joe said...
Why are people so convinced that advertising simply wins campaigns when there it little to no evidence that it does? The "respect" for advertising is way out-of-proportion to how effective it actually is.

(For those who disagree; show me the actual cause-effect numbers, not just correlations. What William Goldman said about Hollywood is apropos: Nobody knows anything.)

9/19/16, 3:30 PM

Advertising will get your product noticed. But if it sucks, it sucks. Imagine how much lower Hillary would be without the massive ads and the in kind advertising by the media.

Bad Lieutenant said...

"Nothing kills a bad product like good advertising"

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