Monday, September 19, 2016

When you live in the media's heads, maybe you don't need ads?

I'm greatly amused by this article in the Washington Examiner.

Hillary Clinton has spent several times what Donald Trump has spent to air television ads in key states. That will likely continue; in a new count by Advertising Age, the Clinton campaign and its allied super PACs have booked $145.3 million in ad time between now and Election Day, to $4.4 million for Trump and his groups.

The disparity has terrified some Republican strategists who fear Trump is being drowned in a tidal wave of Clinton ads. But what if it doesn't really matter?

Take Ohio. Clinton and her allies have been pummeling Trump on TV there, spending many millions more than he has. Yet Trump has climbed in the polls while she has fallen; two recent surveys had Trump ahead by 3 and 5 points, respectively.

"She's got all these offices and staff and ads," one Ohio GOP operative said recently. "But if the election were held today, Trump would win Ohio."

In Florida, Clinton has been on a spending spree, yet the New York Times' Trip Gabriel recently noted that "the tens of millions in TV ads run by Mrs. Clinton and her allies in the state have failed to give her a noticeable advantage." In the RealClearPolitics average of Florida polls, Trump is up by 1 point.

Some Florida political veterans are already saying Clinton is throwing money away on television. "To date, the Clinton campaign has spent $22.3 million on television [in Florida]," Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings said recently, according to an account in the Palm Beach Post. "You give [local Democrats] $22 million and I'll produce more votes for you than a damn television ad."

There's more at the link.  Zero Hedge provided this graph of future advertising airtime bookings by the two campaigns.

My immediate reaction is that Donald Trump is playing the media like a master.  He's got them so focused on him that everything he says or does is reported at once.  Sure, it's usually reported very negatively;  but does that matter?  After all, "There's no such thing as bad publicity", as the saying goes - and bad or not, Mr. Trump is certainly getting an awful lot of publicity!  There's also the factor that most of the public no longer believes or trusts the news media.  Their bias is so obvious that many readers/listeners have simply stopped paying any attention to their claims.  All they're hearing is "Trump... Trump... Trump" without bothering about the specifics of what's being alleged.  That has to amount to tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars in free publicity for Mr. Trump's campaign.

I find it supremely ironic that the ridiculously biased, left-leaning, Clinton-supporting news media are actually empowering and enabling the Trump campaign to spend vastly less than their opponents on publicity, yet still get much more of it - and much more effectively - than any other candidate.  I bet Donald Trump is laughing all the way to the bank about that.  He may even laugh all the way to the Oval Office.



Jonathan H said...

They built him up during the primaries and until the conventions to stop real challengers, like with McCain and Romney - but he isn't falling to Democratic nominee like they did, likely for several reasons, of which this is one.

Odysseus said...

I've been sadly wrong too many times in this election to be doing any more guessing whether we're getting the punch in the face or the kick in the crotch. I've even given up on speculating about which one would be worse.

You would think not caring which anymore would bring some clarity, instead it seems like things keep polarizing to the point that no matter who wins we all lose. I suppose all I can hope is that I'm wrong about this too, it would be refreshing.

deborah harvey said...

what would be refreshing would be to hear the candidates talk about domestic and foreign policy, and their ideas about improving overall well being of the country.

freedom said...

I'm seeing a ton of Hillary ads in Georgia, first presidential TV ads I've seen in years. The problem is every ad makes me like Trump more. Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins don't like Trump? Thank God, if they did I'd reevaluate my support. He curses when talking about Isis? Wow. Max Cleland shakes his head with a single tear in his eye, I hope he cries himself to sleep every night.

Uncle Lar said...

I tend to find the Hillary adds bashing Trump to be just irritating as hell. And clueless about the real American spirit.
But the ones where she actually speaks are even worse. She is a tired, sick, old reprobate with a history of lies and corruption that even a blind beggar cannot help but see.
But the media is in the tank for her, her base doesn't care how thoroughly evil she is, and anyone with a lick of sense knows that the Democrats are past masters at voter fraud. So they may still drag the most unelectable candidate in many years back into the Whitehouse. On the plus side, maybe she'll bring some of the furnishings she and Billy boy took when they moved out last time.

richard mcenroe said...

You give $22 million to Alcee Hastings and you'll never see him again.

Joe in PNG said...

I don't like Trump, and even pondered voting 3rd party.
Then Hillary showed one of the best campaign adds for Trump ever- the one where Hillary said she was going to take money from the rich.
Thanks Hillary, you convinced me.