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Political Ad Spending

Tina Dupey, writing in the Jersey Journal, recently wrote an article  arguing that political television advertisements, like cigarette commercials, should be banned. Her piece makes an intriguing rebuttal to those who would advance free speech justifications in defense of the practice. What’s most interesting though, are the statistics she references in defense of her proposal. Here are the numbers:

  1. $9.8 billion will be spent on political advertising in 2012
  2. 60% of this will be on television ($5.88 billion)
  3. $42 per potential voter

Think about the nearly ten billion in expected campaign expenditures. In light of the growing usage of Tivo, television on demand, and online streaming platforms, television advertising seems to be on the way out. It’s less and less effective at reaching a significant audience and persuading them in 30 seconds.

But, if not television, where would you find voters? The answer is online, and we’re just beginning to discern the platforms and strategies to reach this growing market.


Santorum’s 50% Right

Last night I received an email from the Santorum campaign (I’m signed up for all their email lists).

We did it again.

Tonight we won both the Alabama and Mississippi primaries.

We did it without million of dollars in TV ads or a friendly media. Our campaign did it with the help of friends like you. And I hope I can count on your generosity one more time.

I bought the message until the last sentence. They’ve got an exciting narrative and a strong sign of momentum. They drive it home by highlighting the everyman nature of the campaign and “friends like you.” Then they ask for money.

If you want my take, they don’t need the money. Sure, campaign’s run on cash, but Santorum hasn’t succeed with overwhelming media buys, he’s preached a message that resonated with voters. If he asked each person on the email list to call ten friends in upcoming primary states, or if he urged voters to talk to  peers  about the results, he’d get the same effect.

Santorum needs votes, and he needs delegates. Money won’t get him there. It’s an equalizer, but it’s not the game that got him to the final four. He shouldn’t shift tactics now.

Political Fundraising in the Social Media Era

Fascinating infographic courtesy of MDG Advertising. Will your fundraising be social in 2012?



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Political Fundraising in the Social Media Era

Fascinating infographic courtesy of MDG Advertising. Will your fundraising be social in 2012?



Every Party Has An Influencer

I recently read an article on the poor reviews the new slate of Kindles received from tech bloggers. They didn’t see a market for the product. For them, the iPad won in nearly every category. And, truth be told, the iPad is better. But it is also more expensive, harder to use, and designed to meet a variety of home and business needs. The Kindle was designed to read books, and it does that beautifully. Tech writers thought about the product they wanted, not the product the market would use.

I’ve wondered if Voters Act is in the iPad category. Is “political participation” a niche market for the 2% of Americans who actually research candidates? Are we, along with groups like, Ballotbook, and Votifi making a bet on a growth market that won’t grow more than Romney’s poll numbers? I think not. Here’s why.

Our bet isn’t on every American getting involved in politics. We don’t even need half of Americans to be politically active. What we do need is one person. One person in each group of friends, each civic organization, each team and each church. We need that individual who does care about politics, who does care about their vote, and we need their friends to trust their opinion.

If that person get’s excited about one campaign – from president to their local school board – then Voters Act has the chance to help them support their favorite candidate in a way previously impossible.

That’s what we want to do.

We don’t want to provide a bevy of services, we want to be excellent at one thing: creating new mechanisms for engaging with the political process.


From the Voters Act team, Happy Thanksgiving.