Money talks, and bullshit walks
Yeah, but they also have completely different strides. And nowhere is that becoming more evident than in the almost incredible disparity of spending money between the Biden and Trump campaigns going into the last two weeks of the election.
Just for starters. In the last 3 months in battleground Michigan, Boden has out spent Trump by a massive 3-1 margin, $53 million to $17 million. Biden can run a nice blend of both inspirational ads professing his strengths, as well as negative ads about Trump’s performance. And both are far outweighing Trump’s ability to respond in the state.
Also, there’s this. Going into the home stretch, the Biden campaign has a massive $455 million available to spend. It was said on a program yesterday that with that kind of scratch. Biden could literally pick a battleground state a day, and run a one hour ad on a network, say a town hall, or other format to get his message out. But even better, the campaign is now in the position to evaluate, take some of that surplus cash, and donate or loan it to highly competitive Senate races to help put Democratic candidates over the top.
But when you talk about television advertising, there is yet another kind of advertising out there, and it is a completely different breed of cat. And up until now, with the Biden campaign, it has seldom if ever been used in a Presidential campaign before. I’ll explain.
Let’s just use CBS and an NFL football game as an example, because it leads to such a natural contrast example. The Bears are playing the Packers, and it’s a pretty good game, 10-3. The end of the first quarter gets there, and CBS switches to their commercial break of 4 minutes.
If you don’t need more popcorn or another beer, and just sit there and endure the boredom, you’ll find that there are actually two different kinds of commercials that air during the break. There are ads up the ass for beer companies and Direct To Consumer pharma, along with local restaurants and ambulance chasers. That’s because they’re actually two different things.
CBS is a national network. And it sells advertising time for its network shows. But it’s also a network, and the actual programming is broadcast by local network affiliates. And they have two completely different sets of advertising rated, with the national rate charged by the network being exponentially higher, simply because of the nationwide coverage.
Normally, presidential campaigns don’t bother to dabble in national network or cable advertising, simply because it is inefficient. The ads show up on television sets in too many areas that the candidate isn’t competitive in, and the campaign prefers to target their spending in battlefield states for the maximum bang-for-the-buck. But because Trump’s tanking popularity have put more and more traditionally red states into play, with Biden within the margin of error, as well as the burgeoning number of states with unthought Senate seats competitive, the Biden campaign is free to dabble, and basically own the airwaves.
Here’s a perfect example to make my point crystal clear. Tomorrow night, the Arizona Cardinals play the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football, which is carried by ESPN. Both of them are presidential battleground states, and both have competitive Senate races raging. The Biden campaign has sunk $400,000 in national advertising on ESPN, not only reaching both Arizona and Texas with their message, but the rest of the competitive states as well. I believe I heard almost in passing that the Trump campaign had dropped a paltry $38,000 on national advertising for the game.
That is the real power of money in advertising in a political campaign. Let’s be clear, though. Biden would never be dropping $400 large on a national football game if the extreme unpopularity of Trump, the GOP in general, and a whole passel of GOP incumbent Senators hadn’t warranted it. But when the big chance finally comes along to close the deal, it sure helps to have the stake on the table to get into the game. The Trump campaign spent almost a billion dollars like a drunken sailor on shore leave in Singapore, oodles of it on Trump legal fees, and they can’t even get into an alley craps game in Brooklyn. This just keeps getting better and better. 16 days. GOTV!
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