SPOTLIGHT

‘Gut’ Check

National Journal
Steven Shepard
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Steven Shepard
Jan. 23, 2014, 6:55 a.m.

It’s a com­plaint we’ve heard, mostly from next-gen­er­a­tion GOP con­sult­ant types: Cam­paigns spend all this money on tele­vi­sion and tra­di­tion­al ad­vert­ising without any real data to in­form their spend­ing. That’s the sub­ject of a new Cam­paigns & Elec­tions op-ed sub­mis­sion from Vin­cent Har­ris, a GOP new-me­dia con­sult­ant: “The Gut: Run­ning GOP cam­paigns since 1854.”

— “Gut in­stinct con­tin­ues to be the primary form of de­cision mak­ing with­in Re­pub­lic­an cam­paigns,” Har­ris writes, “some of which spend mil­lions of dol­lars on in­ef­fi­cient me­dia buys based on cam­paign meth­ods passed down through dec­ades of polit­ic­al lore.” We’ve heard the same thing. “TV’s the biggest line item in the budget but the least data-driv­en,” GOP data guru Alex Lun­dry told us last year, in re­sponse to the news that the NR­CC would be us­ing polls to bet­ter in­form its TV-ad spend­ing.

— But Har­ris, who headed up now-Sen. Ted Cruz‘s (R-TX) di­git­al ops in 2012, sees little evid­ence this is hap­pen­ing thus far dur­ing the 2014 cycle. Too much money is go­ing in­to TV and dir­ect mail, he writes, and not enough is go­ing in­to di­git­al.

The FL-13 Spe­cial is an in­ter­est­ing test case; the NR­CC has already spent $725,000 on TV ads (through Feb. 10) and $100,000 on web ads. FL-13 is an older dis­trict, and spe­cial elec­tions usu­ally at­tract an older elect­or­ate, any­way. But the NR­CC ul­ti­mately in­tends to use FL-13 to test the ef­fect­ive­ness of both TV and di­git­al to reach per­suad­ables and turn out their voters — even if that spend­ing level is “in con­trast to un­deni­able re­search con­cern­ing rising di­git­al us­age,” as Har­ris writes.

Di­git­al spend­ing by cor­por­a­tions has moved to nearly a quarter of their over­all ad­vert­ising budget, and polit­ics (par­tic­u­larly on the Re­pub­lic­an side) hasn’t kept up with that. The demo­graph­ics of midterm-elec­tion voters don’t ne­ces­sar­ily match up with the the over­all con­sumer base, and 2014 won’t ne­ces­sar­ily be won or lost on­line. But, as Har­ris and oth­ers ar­gue, spend­ing smarter will boost the GOP’s chances of cap­tur­ing the Sen­ate this year and the White House in 2016.

What We're Following See More »
FROM YEARS AGO
Rep. Joe Barton Apologizes for Nude Selfie
1 hours ago
THE LATEST
THE QUESTION
How Many People Have Signed Up for Obamacare So Far?
2 hours ago
THE ANSWER

About 2.3 million, after three weeks of open enrollment. That exceeds the pace of sign-ups last year.

Source:
19 FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS
Latest Count: 12 Trump Campaign Staffers Had Contact with Russians
6 hours ago
THE LATEST
THREE STILL UNACCOUNTED FOR
Eight Seaman Rescued as Navy Plane Goes Down Near Japan
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Eight people were rescued and three remained missing after a U.S. Navy plane crashed into the western Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, the Navy said. The C-2 “Greyhound” transport aircraft came down about 500 nautical miles (925 kilometers) southeast of Okinawa as it was bringing passengers and cargo from Japan to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the Navy said in a statement."

Source:
AT ISSUE: COMEY FIRING, SESSIONS’S RECUSAL
Mueller Seeks Documents from DOJ
2 days ago
THE LATEST

Special counsel Robert Mueller "is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation." A source tells ABC News that "Mueller's investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login