We’ve written a lot lately about the TV-vs.-digital divide in political advertising. Voters aren’t consuming media in the same way as previous election cycles, and it’s incumbent on campaigns to get their messages in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
— A new bipartisan poll puts these changes in stark relief. According to the survey, conducted by Global Strategy Group (D)/Public Opinion Strategies (R) and first reported by Politico, nearly three-in-ten respondents hadn’t watched live TV in the week prior to being interviewed (not including sporting events), including more than 40% of voters under age 35. For the first time, less than half of voters said that live TV is their primary way to watch video content.
— The easy conclusion to make is that TV is out and digital is in. But that’s overstating the case. And the same technology that’s making live TV less dominant is, at the same time, making TV advertising more efficient and targeted. Set-top-box data and the rise of addressable advertising mean that less money will be wasted over the air.
— Another oversimplification: The entrenched consultant class isn’t trying to adjust. That’s one of the main complaints we hear from next-generation digital consultants, but, for their part, media consultants are becoming increasingly platform-neutral. “I think this business is becoming one thing,” OnMessage Inc.’s Brad Todd (R) told Hotline earlier this month. “We’re screen-agnostic and we’re platform agnostic. All our campaign strategies include now a mobile component, a digital component and television.”
That doesn’t mean that the political industry has done an adequate job reacting to these changes in communication, or that Democrats haven’t outpaced Republicans on this front. But the fact that two of the largest polling firms in politics have been conducting this survey for the past four years is evidence the establishment is taking notice.
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As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."
President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.
In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."
"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."