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Screen capture of Americans for Prosperity ad attacking Obamacare
RNC is ceding airwaves to their billionaire friends, like the Koch brothers.
The Republican National Committee is largely getting out of the advertising business and instead will defer to super PACs and campaign committees to have a greater role during this year's midterm election, senior GOP officials said Tuesday.

The RNC's priority this year will be on rebuilding its voting databases and it will use 2014 as a test run with the aim of fixing glitches before 2016's presidential contest. They are essentially starting from scratch after the previous databases proved unreliable, outdated and outpaced by Democrats.

The idea is that there will be so much under-regulated conservative Super PAC dollars in advertising that the RNC won't have to lend a hand. So, it can focus on its nonexistent data operation.

It's an interesting gamble. Yes, the GOP needs to improve its data capabilities. They truly do suck. And yes, there will be plenty of Super PAC money blasting the airwaves. But those Super PACs reflect the personalities and priorities of their billionaire donors, thus deliver a fragmented and uncoordinated message. And if bang-for-buck is important, those Super PACs get gouged by TV networks (and deservedly so).

Please read below the fold for more on the GOP's future plans.

The RNC is the most successful party-fundraising vehicle in the GOP, totaling 36 percent of their overall party committee fundraising. In contrast, the DNC has raised just 21 percent of their party's overall take. And given that the Republicans, overall, have raised nearly $100 million less than Democrats this cycle ($206M vs. $297M), pulling that RNC money out of advertising circulation is certainly a gamble.

Maybe the RNC, with its donation limits, can't compete with the unlimited-contribution Super PAC regime. And it's not as if the Republicans have figured out the small-dollar thing. That $100 million advantage the Democrats enjoy? It's people like you and me. About half the money Democrats have raised have been small-dollar, under $200 contributions. Republicans can't even begin to match that. Their base won't even call themselves "Republican" anymore, pretending that the Tea Party is some "independent" thing!

Maybe it doesn't matter. TV is becoming less and less effective as a persuasion medium, so let the billionaires piss away their money on the airwaves. Clearly they have nothing better to do.

And spending money on data is a smart move, particularly for the party of "unskewing." But ceding a critical campaign component to egotistical billionaires is a much riskier proposition. Maybe that will end well for them. Maybe not. I'd bet on the latter.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hee hee (10+ / 0-)

      I would love to add a "NSA is listening" icon to the ad - those who will be moved to call - already hate FED - so why not add in some FEAR.  :-)

  •  Sort of affirms the fact that there is and always (12+ / 0-)

    will be coordination between the party and the Super PACs despite the law.  This seems a blatant admission that the RNC doesn't have concerns about controlling the message even though they will leave the ads to the supposed 'education' entities.  It's not because they trust their donors to do the right thing.

    And of course the IRS will step in when the law is violated.

  •  1. Obama can't repeal the law (12+ / 0-)

    2. They want "patient-centered" reform?  Isn't that Single-payer?

    "The purpose of education is not to validate ignorance, but to overcome it" - Dr. Lawrence Krauss

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 02:48:16 PM PST

  •  Uncoordinated. Somehow I doubt that. (10+ / 0-)

    Sure there will be differing priorities, but when the Kochtopus has so many different groups they're funding but all can be traced back to the source Kochs, I expect there to be plenty of coordination as well as individual egos.  What I want to see is more of the Tea Party types fighting it out with the establishment in the primaries, spending enough money to make the public sick of both candidates prior to the general.

    As for data, it's only good to be spending it if they're willing to learn from what the data tells them.  They had lots of data last election but preferred to unskew the data - fix it to what their bubble told them was "right" instead.

    •  Actually I think that raises a good point: (7+ / 0-)

      Maybe the RNC anticipates getting squashed between the billionaire establishment types and the tea party crazies.

      If they support candidates that can't win in general elections, they get angry phone calls from their big donors. On the other hand, if they support mainstream candidates, they get angry phone calls from the rabid right base. Either way, their kinda screwed, so what to do?

      Easy: let the two groups sort this out, while the party leadership itself works on something innocuous, like data collection and mobilization.

      I'd bet a big part of this decision is just the fallout from the ever-widening gulf between money Republicans and the right-wing rank and file, which is no longer content to meekly show up and vote for whomever Wall Street is okay with.


      "God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

      by dzog on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:13:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great, more 'you need to take less, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Calamity Jean

    so I can take more' Ads.

  •  ROFL (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, here4tehbeer, Calamity Jean
    thus deliver a fragmented and uncoordinated message.
    HaHaHa! Markos stop. You're killing me.

    If Liberals hated America, we'd vote Republican.

    by ord avg guy on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 02:55:42 PM PST

  •  Sounds a lot like when pro sports began (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ceding to corps.
    The Republican party has long been perceived as kowtowing to the elite. Doesn't this confirm it?

    After 65 years, the ONLY thing I know absolutely and positively about life is that the check is SUPPOSED to be in the mail. That's it. Nothing else. PERIOD.

    by franklyn on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 02:56:24 PM PST

  •  How does this help their GOTV efforts? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nancy Green

    Another advantage to our side are unions and Democratic clubs and such who knock on doors, phone bank, register voters in numbers I expect the GOP doesn't really match. I suppose the main stream media and word of mouth helps them, but I'd suspect advertising has more effect on the average conservative voter than the average liberal.

    Besides, if they get honest data they'll see much of their agenda is unpopular with a majority of Americans.

  •  Ha! "patient centered reform" (5+ / 0-)

    They want "patient centered reform" about as much as the rest of us want to drink West Virginia water.

    "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -5.54

    by solesse413 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 02:57:35 PM PST

  •  it's rather ironic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Calamity Jean

    They can not build a decent voter data systen, yet they criticize the ACA web site.

    Problem with the RNC, no good techies will work for them.

  •  They're not going to like the data, that is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, highacidity, Calamity Jean

    if they actually collect accurate data.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:07:01 PM PST

  •  The Tpublicans will now impeach the Prez. (0+ / 0-)

    Never mind they would rather impeach for a BJ than a violation of our privacy.

    The Tpublicans rather like to violate our privacy.  Especially the poor and middle class.

    Sarcasm on...It is so nice I live in a post racial America...Sarcasm off.

    by wbishop3 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:07:02 PM PST

  •  Fascinating Subject (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Calamity Jean

    Where to pick up votes and voters?  Who is trending your direction? Who is not? What mass communications vehicle reach and motivate your voter? Or better yet, potential voter?

    The GOP STILL has not picked up on their own trend lines. IMO.

    They've been stuck in a trend rut since 2004. Hence, trying to rewind a clock that can't be unwound.

    There IS room for growth in the GOP, but they keep harping (carping?) on the same subjects to the same shrinking and aging base.  

    Yes, TV will reach these peeps. And the messages that the billionaires are spot on for their base.  

    But growth potential? I'm not seeing any creative thinking here.

    Romney's whole business was about maximizing debt, extracting cash, cutting head counts, skimping on capital spending, outsourcing production, and dressing up the deal for the earliest, highest-profit exit possible. -- David Stockman.

    by CupofTea on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:09:01 PM PST

    •  Room for Growth? (0+ / 0-)

      Really, you see room for growth?  Where exactly?  They suck in the 18-34 demo and it is getting worse, not better, in every poll I have seen in the last five years or so.  Minorities?  They are never going to get back the African American vote, never.  The only surprise in the Hispanic demo is that it isn't even more in favor of Dems.  And Dems seem to be making gains with the Asian demo as well.  The blue collar working white base that they have tried to trick in to voting for them for years is fading as well.  Just don't see where the growth potential is.

      •  You misread. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I said I don't see room for growth. I don't see their growth potential either. And I don't see creative thinking to create growth.  That's my point!

        Romney's whole business was about maximizing debt, extracting cash, cutting head counts, skimping on capital spending, outsourcing production, and dressing up the deal for the earliest, highest-profit exit possible. -- David Stockman.

        by CupofTea on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:39:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh! I see where you saw that. (0+ / 0-)

        To be quite frank, I rather not tip my hand about room for growth and talk about it.  I don't want any lurkers here starting to think creatively and outside the box.

        Romney's whole business was about maximizing debt, extracting cash, cutting head counts, skimping on capital spending, outsourcing production, and dressing up the deal for the earliest, highest-profit exit possible. -- David Stockman.

        by CupofTea on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:42:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They have decided turnout (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        will substitute for growth.  They will try to do the Karl Rove thing where you get the numbers from firing up the base. But I think uniting the different parts of the Republican party are going to be much harder than with Bush, who pleased the corporatists and the evangelicals and the rednecks, and actually even more difficult than with Romney.  I think this will be true in Senate races in 2014

  •  What a waste of money, and a stupid tactic. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It may not be 'rule #1', but one of the early rules of politics has to be 'maintain tight control of your message'.  With super pacs not supposed to coordinate with campaigns (hah, hah) that's an invitation to messaging that's all over the place, and candidates having to try and shoehorn themselves into agreeing with super pac messaging without alienating 'swing voters'.

  •  If it involves Karl Rove and a whiteboard I'm in. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    Maybe we can't stop the flow of PAC money, but sure as hell can poison the well.

    by here4tehbeer on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:23:03 PM PST

  •  Real data doesn't lie (3+ / 0-)

    ... which is why I don't think the RNC will like what they find: a shrinking audience for their stupidity and vitriol. They will need all the luck they can get as time marches on.

  •  WTF is "patient centered reform" they have never (3+ / 0-)

    explained what that means

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:31:32 PM PST

  •  Patient-centered???? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And I pay how much to be told that maybe I should have a routine blood test, stress test, and colonoscopy? JIC?

    And me on catastrophic health care with a 5k deduct and a...

    Oh, hell, why bother telling that. Everyone else in the "gap" has the same or worse problem transitioning from patient-centered health care (errr I mean traditional for-profit health care).

    GOP/TPers go to blazes...

    Ugh. --UB.

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:49:10 PM PST

  •  Single Payer Universal - or bust.... n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 03:49:51 PM PST

  •  I think Americans for Prosperity has a typo... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, DK Green, Calamity Jean that piece.

    Shouldn't that read "profit-centered reform?"

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 04:01:09 PM PST

  •  Love the screen-cap of the ad. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    A phone call to the POTUS. Yeah, that'll work. Congress couldn't get-er-dun with 44, er, 45, er, 40whatever votes, but he'll finally give in if we can just get one more phone call from John Q Patriot!

    “Humanity's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but humanity's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.” ― Reinhold Niebuhr

    by ktowntennesseedem on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:04:53 PM PST

  •  The RNC wanted to get rid of the caps. (0+ / 0-)

    Shortly after the 2008 election, they filed a lawsuit to remove caps on donating money to the RNC/DNC.

  •  Feelin' a little too sexy for your shirt, RNC? (0+ / 0-)

    Putrid is my favorite stage of decay. Objects in this stage still have some identifiable features, and familiarity makes things alright.

    by glb3 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 07:38:52 PM PST

  •  This could be excellent news (0+ / 0-)

    I think one of the under-reported aspects of the 2012 election was the preponderance of billionaires who, in a post Citizen's United world, decided that they understood politics better than the professionals and became more directly involved in how their money was spent.

    It's one of the reasons why Gingrich and others lasted as long as they did in the race: because they had idiots who were willing to give them boatloads of money despite the fact that any reasonably sane person could see they never had a chance of winning.

    Meanwhile, organized labor was also freed by Citizen's United to do more direct spending. But they had been involved in politics for decades so they at least had a better understanding of where it would be wise to spend their money.

    The end result was that Citizen's United, at least in 2012, may have actually benefited Democrats more than Republicans.

    If the above news is true than 2014 may be a repeat of 2012.

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