Tuesday, July 31, 2007

President Picker not needed

I'm rethinking this blog in light of the simply overwhelming amount of information flowing about the current presidential campaign.

I think mainstream news ignorance and "news fatigue" has killed most of the quality details about the hugely significant stories of our time - for example the culture clashes of the "European/American" vs the Moslem world, the Iraq War, Israel, Poverty, Aids, Global health.

CNN and FOX on TV and some print news is replacing the important stuff with stories bout spats between candidates, the fairly inane YouTube Democratic debate, and other weak examinations of the candidates.

Hey, maybe this IS needed because at the least I can try to address how the candidates would deal with real issues rather than focusing on the imaginary, silly, spin issues?

CNN Ticker

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Online Advertising in Presidential campaigns is trivial

Here's a great summary of online ad spending by the presidential candidates except for the fact that it does not note how trivial thee levels of exposure is even for McCain who ran the most impressions.

Clinton, with under a million impressions, is spending perhaps a ten thousand total.
This low spend indicates that the online marketing people are very challenged with this new media. A spend of million dollars online would saturate the online world with the message because you don't need much targeting for a prez campaign.

Maybe they are holding back for strategic reasons but I'm guessing that they just don't get it. Big firms continue to dominate the "thinking" about how to run online campaigns, and big firms consistently have their clients waste money on foolish and stylish high CPM image based advertising rather than dramtically cheaper and more strategic pay per click and cheap image campaigns. There is a huge amount of inventory available online for massive branding campaigns like a candidate needs.

Unlike other products where you need a lot of targeting, a candidate for national office generally wants to talk to *everybody*. Even kids can have an indirect impact on election politics.

Given the jaw dropping sums about to be spent, I think we'll see the smart candidates work a lot more with online though agency ignorance of online marketing strategy may prevail in this realm.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fact Checking from Annenberg Project

FactCheck.org is part of University of PA's Annenberg Project and is a helpful site if you want to follow up on campaign claims by candidates as well as other facts in question by the media.

Check it out and check those facts!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The best campaigns money can buy

The 2008 Presidential primaries are still far away but the money trains for the top candidates are steaming ahead full speed. Each quarter seems to bring a new campaign finance record, and quarterly totals for the candidates would have run *entire presidential campaigns* in all but about the past decade. Compete.com has a great article about how online strategy could affect the election combined with some numbers reflecting support.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Clinton and Obama consolidate financial support in second quarter

The Hilary Clinton political juggernaut continues to move along powerfully, making it increasingly unlikely that a serious challenge to her candidacy will emerge. Obama's exceptional results raising money, outpacing Clinton in the second quarter of this year, have not translated into competitive poll numbers, though the race is still in very early stages.

One take is that Obama's enthusiastic early support seems to be transitioning from mainstream voters to a sort of "Obama fan club" that in some ways may even diminish his candidacy. The recent video "I've Got a Crush on Obama" is probably not the kind of online social networking that ultimately will favor Obama.

McCain Cash Flow troubles

The McCain campaign is clearly languishing, probably due to McCain's unpopular war stance but I also think because he has failed to capture the imagination of voters the way he did in past campaigns.

Given the low level of poll support (under 10% support among Republicans) it will be increasingly difficult to get donations and keep fueling the effort. I'm not even convinced he's really in this "to win" anymore.

Romney's Dog and Romney blog

An absurd story about Mitt Romney and "animal abuse" has remarkable news traction as it appears to be hopelessly misreported, especially the time frame (I thought this happened last week until I read the details!). The Romney family *over twenty years ago* had a dog that enjoyed riding in a kennel strapped to the roof of the family car. "Forcing" the dog to ride on the roof has been implied where it seems a lot more likely that the dog, Seamus, liked to ride on the roof during family trips.

This is probably an example of some sort of odd "hit job" by opponents.

Anne Romney addresses this over at the Romney blog, though probably too weakly given the attention this continues to get on TV, Time Magazine, and elsewhere. Stories like this are things people can emotionally latch onto and it's important that the campaign at least does more to point out the absurdity of the allegations of animal abuse. Even Tucker Carlson said that Romney's probably "lost his vote"!