Candidates and Web Spending

Mediaweek's Mike Shields, via Reuters, not many candidates dumping dollars into web outside of search ads, social media:

...with six weeks or so to go before Election Day, not many watchers are expecting a sudden surge.

According to Borrell & Associates, political spending on digital media should double this year vs. 2008, reaching $44.5 million. Despite that hefty growth rate, “that’s really not much,” said Kip Cassino, Borrell’s vp of research. Some estimates place digital spending at 1 percent of total political media dollars...

Perhaps the biggest factor holding back digital spending is political consultants’ love affair with TV, which, according to Cassino, gets two of every three dollars spent in this arena. TV has a long track record of getting people elected, particularly in local congressional races, where a candidate might be running “for the 10th or 11th term,” said Cassino. “So they hand digital planning to the kid who comes in as a volunteer.”

A case of "you're not doing it because it doesn't work," or "It's not working because you're not doing it right?" 

No surprise that campaigns would be more hesitant than corporations in search of branding when it comes to taking a financial risk, and no question there is still surprisingly little empirical info out there to show the exact return conslutants and campaign managers need before spending, but I think it's less complicated than that.

It's a mid-term and older voters get online for Facebook, not news.

Committee's, candidates, and campaigns have realized the fundraising potential of younger web-savvy voters, and are happy to exploit it.  But when it comes to GOTV, the majority of candidates from both parties are still checking for AARP cards more than they are testing the most effective way to get younger voters out to... you know, vote.  Ignore the misleading headline and this NYTimes piece on "college voters" and you have all you need to know.  On issues from gay rights to the environment, these voters are progressives.  The DNC gets it, but doesn't know how to use it.  State parties are waking up to it, but don't know how to use it.  All of the risk is being placed on individual candidates, and individual candidates don't take risks when it comes to campaign spending.  They ask "what's working" and they're being told "TV."  Probably sound advice in many regions and races, but everywhere?  Still?  Doubtful.

Low hanging fruit and all with older voters in a midterm, but what opportunities have been (are being) missed not just in 2010 but in building a solid core of more progressive voters?

Given a choice between trying to woo voter who might at least partially be suspicious you have a death panel lined up for them on November 3rd, and the 2008 first time voter who just needs a reminder we have these things called midterms, I know where I'd be spending a little more time and money.

Hell, just give "the kid who comes in to volunteer" a team!



IL-05 Primary Weekly Roundup

Signs are up, ads are airing, yet Chicago Public Radio nailed it: Voters Clueless in Fifth District: 

One would think that given recent events in illinois politics voters would be more engaged than ever not less engaged; more aware of the need to be vigilant and educated in the voting booth. And this is a particularly high profile seat. It was recently vacated by Rahm Emanuel who left to become President Obama's chief of staff.

What if they gave an election and no one cared? (The answer: they hold it anyway.)

There's more...

IL-05: Primary Roundup #3

Perhaps the biggest news this week is that the FEC deadline has passed and/or the Chicago Tribune endorsement session.  It may depend on who you are and who you support which you believe is the biggest news.  Others have argued that the dearth of coverage by the traditional media is the biggest news of the week.

What has become increasingly apparent to those who have been paying attention is that the special election in IL-05 enjoys an unusually smart, ambitious field who are working hard to win this election and paying attention to the issues in which voters are interested.  As early voting begins on Monday, this race is turning increasingly from fund-raising and media to the ground game.  Given the extraordinary density -- much of it in single family dwellings -- this has always been true.  Which is also why all the candidates are out knocking on doors and calling voters.

Because of the large Democratic field, the Chicago Tribune editorial board conducted two different interview sessions, one which is the video to the right.  Video for the second session is below the fold, but this article talks about "the rest of the field:"

There's more...

IL-05: Reality Check

The beef against Mike Quigley, the reform candidate/progressive with the highest name recognition (and currently leading in the polls) in the 5th Congressional District in Illinois is that he's simply too valuable in his current job as Cook County Commissioner.

The beef against Mike Quigley, the reform candidate/progressive with the highest name recognition (and currently leading in the polls) in the 5th Congressional District in Illinois is that he's simply too valuable in his current job as Cook County Commissioner.

Progressives in Chicago respect Quigley's opposition to the Democratic machine, especially with regard to his fierce stands against corruption, nepotism and the wasteful spending related to both.  In setting up the camera to do a scheduled interview, I asked Quigley his response to this criticism.

"Yeah, let's start with that question," Quigley responded.  "I want to answer that."

There's more...

IL-05 Primary Roundup #2

Three major events capped this week in Illinois' 5th Congressional District: the nominating petition process was completed, voting has begun and a whole beavy of Candidate Forums was begun.  On the Democratic side, objections to Charlie Wheelan's petitions were overruled, objections to Roger Thompson's petitions were sustained (removing Thompson from the ballot) and Pete Dagher withdrew in the face of challenges to his petitions.  Thus, the field on the Democratic side was narrowed, from 14 to 12.  I don't expect much more narrowing in the field before the primary, as voting has actually begun in this race.

One person has voted so far in this race.  Illinois has what is called "grace period voting," which allows people who missed the deadline to register to vote to simultaneously register to vote and vote at the same time:

"Grace Period Voting" is a safety net offered to those who fail to register to vote by the deadline of 28 days before the date of the primary or the date of the election. Grace Period Voting requires the voter to register and vote all at once and in person at the Election Board offices

There's more...


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