Sunday, August 31, 2014

Non-Coordination Coordination in 2014

At Bloomberg Business Week, Phil Mattingly has a sharp article on non-coordination coordination in 2014:
The pattern is repeating itself in the runup to the November midterm elections. In May the National Republican Senatorial Committee began buying ads for the fall; its filings on the FCC’s website provided a road map for outside groups. “You’re seeing all of the other groups start to layer in,” Forti says. “That’s a coordinated effort.” That helps candidates keep up with the national groups’ plans. On July 1, the Hill newspaper reported that American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS had reserved $20 million in fall advertising time. The buy tracked the NRSC schedule. American Crossroads reserved $5.5 million in Alaska and $3 million in Iowa, while Crossroads GPS staked out $5.1 million in North Carolina, $2.5 million in Arkansas, and $2.1 million in Louisiana. Candidates, including Gardner, know where to find the gaps. “It’s not quite like ordering sandwiches,” says Scott Reed, the chief political strategist for the Chamber of Commerce. “But it’s close.”

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Jumbo Joint Fundraising

Michael Beckel writes at The Center for Public Integrity:
Senate Democrats have embraced a new big-money fundraising vehicle — after repeatedly blasting the U.S. Supreme Court decision that made it possible — that could help candidates, state parties and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee tap wealthy donors for even more cash.
The new “jumbo” joint fundraising committee, dubbed the Grassroots Victory Project 2014, marks the Democrats’ first foray into the territory opened up in April after the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission ruling.
That decision eviscerated the so-called “aggregate” campaign contribution limits that capped at nine the number of candidates a single donor could financially support at the maximum level.
Paperwork recently filed with the Federal Election Commission indicates 26 Democratic candidates and party committees stand to benefit from money raised collectively through the Grassroots Victory Project 2014.
This means that thanks to the McCutcheon ruling, donors this year may give more than $178,000 a piece to the new Grassroots Victory Project 2014, which would distribute the funds among its 26 members.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Intensity Gaps

A couple of recent Gallup polls suggest an intensity gap between the parties.

On presidential approval:
Americans are more than twice as likely to say they "strongly disapprove" (39%) of President Barack Obama's job performance as they are to say they "strongly approve" (17%). The percentage of Americans who strongly disapprove of Obama has increased over time, while the percentage who strongly approve has dropped by almost half.
On thought to the midterm election:
One in three Americans (33%) say they have given "quite a lot" or "some" thought to the 2014 midterm election, up from 26% in April. Importantly, Republicans (42%) are much more engaged than Democrats (27%) in the election at this point.

Debt Pile

Crossroads GPS goes after California House members Ami Bera and Scott Peters with the same ad it is running against Bill Enyart (D-IL):

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Expectations Gap

Pew reports:
With just over two months before the midterm elections, Republican voters are widening the “expectations gap” with the Democrats. About six-in-ten (61%) Republican and GOP-leaning registered voters think their party will do better than in recent elections — roughly double the share of Democrats (32%) who feel similarly about their party’s chances.
This gap has not reached the same levels of the GOP’s margin before their large 2010 gains or the Democrats’ expectations in their 2006 sweep of both houses of Congress. Last December, the expectations gap was narrower; 55% of Republicans and Republican-leaning registered voters said the party would do better than recent elections, compared with 43% of Democrats.
A plurality of Democrats (48%) believe their party will do about the same as past elections while 14% think the outcome will be worse. Among Republicans, about one-third (32%) think the GOP will perform about the same and just 3% say the party will do worse than in recent elections.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Crossroads GPS v. Hagan and Schneider on Entitlements

At The Washington Post, Greg Sargent writes:
The other day, I noted that Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS is up with a new ad that slices and dices Dem Senator Mark Pryor’s quotes to create the impression he supports raising the Social Security retirement age in ways that should frighten today’s seniors. Just as they have in the last two cycles — in which Republicans have built national campaigns around dishonest attacks on Obamacare’s provider-side cuts to Medicare — this ad shows Republicans once again hitting Dems from the left on entitlements.
Now Rove’s Crossroads is back with another ad that does pretty much the same thing, this one hitting Senator Kay Hagan in North Carolina over Social Security’s retirement age. The spot, which is backed by more than $1 million, says Hagan is a “big believer” in a “controversial plan” that “raises the retirement age,” while the words “raises Social Security retirement age” flash on the screen. It also claims the plan Hagan supports “increases out-of-pocket Medicare costs.”
Yes, it appears Rove’s Crossroads is attacking Hagan for saying nice things about the Simpson Bowles debt reduction plan, which squeezes seniors by cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits.

 It takes a similar approach against Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL):


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Digital Ads

Darren Samuelsohn reports at Politico:
A leading ad research firm recently estimated that more than $270 million will be spent across the country this cycle on digital campaign efforts — an 1,825 percent increase from 2010, when the first generation of tablet computers was just hitting the market.

And just wait until 2016, when online political spending could top almost $1 billion and for the first time surpass newspapers, direct mail and telemarketing. Digital spending will still lag a long way behind TV, but it’s creeping closer to cable and radio budgets.
The next big thing in political campaigns is finally here, and it represents a nice payday for the likes of Google, Facebook, Pandora and other tech giants that have become mainstays in an American voter’s daily routine.

“In one way, it’s surprising that it’s taken that long,” said Kip Cassino, an executive vice president at Williamsburg, Virginia-based Borrell Associates, the research firm that compiled the ad spending totals and predicted a growing “digital juggernaut” in each upcoming election cycle.