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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Picking Your Opponent

In an excerpt from her memoirs, Senator Claire McCaskill gleefully admits that she sought to help Todd Akin win the GOP primary to run against her in 2012:
My consultants put together a $1.7 million plan. Four weeks out we would begin with a television ad boosting Akin, which my campaign consultant Mike Muir dubbed “A Cup of Tea.” The production costs were pretty low, about $20,000, because we didn’t have to film anything. We just used pictures and voice-overs. We would spend $750,000 at first and run it for eight or nine days. Then we’d go back into the field and test to see if it was working. If it was, we’d dump in more “McCaskill for Senate” money, and we’d add radio and more TV in St. Louis and Kansas City. The second TV buy would approach $900,000. We hoped that some of our friends watching the TV ads would catch on and some of the outside groups would augment the last week with mail and radio. Sure enough, a radio ad calling Akin “too conservative” that went on the air in the closing days of the primary was paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. We would later find out that their rural radio buy was $250,000.
As it turned out, we spent more money for Todd Akin in the last two weeks of the primary than he spent on his whole primary campaign.