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Leading Off:

Advertising: Before Democratic campaign managers and consultants prepare to dump another nine figures into the gaping maw of broadcast TV this cycle, they'd do well to learn more about a recent survey, conducted by Dem pollster GSG and Republican pollster POS, on media usage and generational change. The nut of the problem is simple: Fewer and fewer people are watching live TV.

In fact, twenty-nine percent of all likely voter respondents hadn't watched anything on live TV (other than sports) in the previous week, and of particular concern for Democrats, that figure shoots up to 43 percent among the 18-to-24 set. By the same token, 36 percent of Hispanics also hadn't watched non-sports live TV in the last week. In other words, it's broad swaths of the Dem coalition that are disproportionately no longer watching live TV, with its inescapable ads.

In addition to large numbers of people time-shifting via DVR or watching programming online, the study also found a double-digit increase in streaming via smartphone or tablet, just since 2012. The survey, naturally, is framed in terms of how campaigns will need to adapt with broader digital buyer strategies, though notably, it was conducted for Google, which just might have a vested interest in seeing more campaign dollars spent on targeted online advertising. The pollsters also don't make any recommendations about, say, spending more on better voter databases to improve individual voter contact. (David Jarman)


AR-Sen: The heavyweight Democratic super PAC Patriot Majority USA is launching a $150,000 ad campaign attacking GOP Rep. Tom Cotton, who is running for Senate. As a lotto-style card with Cotton's face appears on the screen, the narrator says that if you want "the real Tom Cotton" "just scratch the surface." I don't know if that visual really works, though, because Cotton's photo gets etched away to reveal... the same photo, just in black and white. The rest of the spot is standard fare: "Cotton made hundreds of thousands of dollars working for corporate interests" and now supports their "schemes" in Congress, like "privatizing Social Security" and "pledging to keep tax breaks that ship jobs overseas."

CO-Sen: Lost in the shuffle Tuesday with PPP's new Colorado survey were some numbers from Republican pollster Harper Polling, produced for the American Action Network. Harper has Democratic Sen. Mark Udall leading GOP Rep. Cory Gardner 45-44, similar to the 42-40 Udall edge that PPP found.

MT-Sen: Rasmussen: Sen. John Walsh (D): 37, Rep. Steve Daines (R): 51. John Bohlinger (D): 34, Daines 52.

NH-Sen: The headline says it all: "Scott Brown Touted His 'People's Pledge' Right Up Until His New Hampshire Bid Began."


IL-Gov: If you only consider the winners in looking at Tuesday night's primary results in Illinois, then there were no surprises. The margins, however, tell a very different story. Billionaire venture capitalist Bruce Rauner capture the GOP gubernatorial nomination, but he survived by a shockingly tight 40-37 spread over state Sen. Kirk Dillard. Rauner had dumped enormous sums into TV ads, and conservative pollster We Ask America absolutely flooded the zone with survey after survey showing him with an insurmountable lead. Indeed, their final numbers, taken the day before the election, had Rauner up 44-27.

Polling primaries is no easy task, but this is a massive miss, and WAA will need to offer some serious and searching self-criticism if they ever want to be taken seriously again. You also have to wonder if WAA's parent organization, the extremely right-wing and anti-union Illinois Manufacturers' Association, had a rooting interest in this race. Dillard was actually able to make it so close because labor groups spent heavily on his behalf to attack Rauner. And because Illinois has open primaries, they encouraged their members (many of whom might otherwise lean Democratic) to vote for Dillard. It almost worked.

And this is probably the ideal outcome for embattled Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who will need a lot of luck to survive in November. Sure, Rauner has infinity moneys, but he's easily caricatured as an out-of-touch one-percenter, thanks in large part to his own Romney-esque tendencies. And a narrow win after a bitter primary means that Dillard can't possibly be thrilled about attending whatever unity breakfast the GOP hopes to schedule.

Quinn, in fact, has already gone on the offensive, airing a new ad before Rauner was even officially declared the victor on Tuesday. The buy is small (around $45,000), but the topic goes right at one of Rauner's worst blunders to date. Quinn's spot features two clips of Rauner. In one, he says, "I will advocate moving the Illinois minimum wage back to the national minimum wage," which is lower. In the other, he says, "I am adamantly, adamantly against raising the minimum wage." This is not the last time we're going to hear Democrats bring this up.


AZ-07: State Sen. Ruben Gallego just picked up the endorsement of Rep. Raul Grijalva, an outspoken progressive and the only non-freshman Arizona Democrat other than the man Gallego is hoping to replace, retiring Rep. Ed Pastor.

IL-11: Republicans lucked out (after a fashion) in the 11th District, where state Rep. Darlene Senger narrowly prevailed over Grundy County Board Member Chris Balkema, 37-33. (Self-funding businessman Bert Miller came in third with 26 percent.) Balkema, a small-time candidate who managed to file his pre-primary FEC report four days late, was most definitely not the establishment choice. Senger, by contrast, had earned a spot on the NRCC's inaugural (and awkwardly named) "Young Guns" list, though she's proven to be a weak fundraiser herself.

More importantly, she's facing Democratic Rep. Bill Foster, a strong campaigner seeking re-election in a district Obama carried 58-41. Even with unpopular Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn exerting pressure at the top of the ticket, the district demographics and the disparities between the two nominees put this seat all but out of reach for the GOP.

IL-13: Former Judge Ann Callis, the choice of the Democratic establishment, handily won her party's primary Tuesday night, defeating physics professor George Gollin 55-31. On the GOP side, though, Rep. Rodney Davis, who had already started advertising with the general election in mind, won a much narrower-than-expected victory over former Miss America Erika Harold, 55-41. Early polling had shown Davis crushing by almost 50 points, and Harold seemed to run a lackluster campaign and raised little.

But Davis, you'll recall, only secured the Republican nomination in 2012 thanks to a back-room appointment after Rep. Tim Johnson unexpectedly retired, so he'd never gone before primary voters before. With just a little more energy (or some Democratic ratfucking), Harold might have done him in. Davis' defenders, though, have already noted that 51,000 votes were cast on the GOP side while there were only 32,000 for the Democrats, and they point to that as a negative sign for Democrats heading into the fall.

But last cycle, the numbers were almost identical, despite a barely contested GOP primary (Johnson was still seeking re-election at the time), and yet the general election wound up as one of the closest in the entire nation. Of course, 2014 won't be the same as 2012 in terms of voter enthusiasm for Democrats, but it's just a reminder that it's risky to look at downballot turnout as a predictor, especially when only one side has a competitive race at the top of the ticket. Last time, the GOP presidential primary was the same day; this time, Republicans had a hard-fought race for governor while Democrats renominated their incumbent. Davis still has the advantage over Callis (we rate the race as Lean R), but it's not because of what happened Tuesday night.

Other Races:

Special Elections: A very unusual outcome in Pennsylvania, as Johnny Longtorso explains:

Pennsylvania SD-28: It appears that Republican Scott Wagner, who ran as a write-in, has won this race. Write-ins received 48 percent of the vote, while on-the-ballot Republican Ron Miller was a distant second with 27 percent, and Democrat Linda Small was right behind Miller with 26.
There aren't a lot of sitting office-holders who can say they won via write-in!

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  notice the pics on "From the Web" (above comments) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, bear83, alwaysquestion

    and ALL over the net - they usually include HORRIBLE pics of Pres. Obama along with a doom & gloom article about America's downfall.

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:05:23 AM PDT

  •  No TV here...we got rid of the "boob tube" last (5+ / 0-)

    year and only watch what we want to watch now on Netflix or live streaming.

    Maybe sports ads are the best way to go if they're stuck on tv.

    No, I won't leave. And if you don't like it, why don't you find the door yourself?

    by adigal on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:07:59 AM PDT

  •  Speaking of sports, we've seen lots of ACA ads (6+ / 0-)

    here during our university's men's basketball conference tournament games. Great ads. And more than one per game as well.

    I'd imagine the NCAA Final Four tournament will be a huge opportunity to advertise for the ACA.

  •  We can celled cable TV (4+ / 0-)

    We have since last fall no cable tv. The only broadcast tv we can get is four local PBS stations without outside antennae.

    We get all non-local news online viewing Web.

    I am typing this while reading this site on Galaxy S4 phone.

    We have Netflix and Amazon Prime.

    We do not need traditional tv. In fact we do not want it at all.

    Waste if time.

    "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” --Yogi Berra

    by HeartlandLiberal on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:17:32 AM PDT

  •  It figures (4+ / 0-)

    the GOP pollster would be called POS so that they can poll their POS ideas.

  •  sounds like good news to me? (6+ / 0-)
    The nut of the problem is simple: Fewer and fewer people are watching live TV.
    I'm not sure why this is a problem. it sounds like people are fed up with the canned talking points, canned laughter, canned outrage that the corporate media has to offer.
    The pollsters also don't make any recommendations about, say, spending more on better voter databases to improve individual voter contact.
    The smart campaigns already are doing this outreach, and this is where true grassroots ( not the phony astroturf stuff) can come into it's own.
    •  For you and me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and for broader society, sure, good news. Just meant it as a 'problem' for Democratic campaign strategists, who are accustomed to having broadcast TV buys be the centerpiece of their spending plans... who might instead have to get off their asses and focus more on GOTV elbow grease, as I implied in the last sentence.

      Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

      by David Jarman on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:31:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The decline of television and the rise of (4+ / 0-)

    other media seem to be part of the fragmentation of America, a trend that will likely have a profound long-term effect on democracy.  

    For all its flaws, communications and technology fifty years ago had the consequence that a very large part of the population shared vast amounts of experience.  Now my kids listen to their iPods so I can't talk to them a lot of the time when they have their earbuds in, and I don't hear their music so I don't share that either.  Fewer people watch t.v., and those who do watch a much wider variety of shows than they used to.  Although the experiences that we shared in the old days weren't always the best, they provided a starting point and framework for communication that no longer exists.

    The new technology has advantages, but on the whole, I think the deterioration of the broader community might outweigh the gains.    

  •  No cable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alwaysquestion, Aquarius40

    Broadcast with a digital antenna, Netflix.  Looking into Amazon Prime.  Haven't had cable for at least 15 years.

  •  "Republican pollster POS"? Gotta luv it. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alwaysquestion, R30A

    My idea of the ideal GOP speech invariably involves negligent intoxication together with breathing helium for that special vocal nuance.

    by Superskepticalman on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:30:55 AM PDT

  •  That TV thang (6+ / 0-)

    Since the GOP and their PACs are going to be out-blitzing us with wall-to-wall negative TV ads, wouldn't less people watching the idiot box mean less damage to the Democrats?

    BTW: "Hey you, kid! Turn off that idiot box and go outside and play! A little fresh air and sunshine ain't gonna hurt ya! (much....)"

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:31:54 AM PDT

    •  I remember hearing that ;-) (5+ / 0-)
      Turn off that idiot box and go outside and play!
    •  I've been asserting for a couple of cycles... (5+ / 0-)

      ...that "boots on the ground" are more resource effective (because time and effort are as valuable as money) for our candidates than attempting to keep pace with media buys of the opposition. The campaign consultants don't like the idea of less media for a number of reasons. The most charitable one I can cite is that they (think they can) "measure" the impact of an ad buy or series of ad buys based on pre- and post- buy polling. The other reasons are pretty much mercenary.

      Clearly they've been fooling both themselves and the candidates they purport to be working for. We need to win or lose on our ability to make personal connections, and spend the available resources to support those lines of communication. Some media buying is necessary: it reassures a large pool of people that you "are there." But I've seen far too many campaigns get caught up in a tactical ad buy "arms race" and lose focus on the strategic goal: get 50%+1 on election day.

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

      by Egalitare on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:53:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There hasn't been live TV in this house for years. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RF, Egalitare, alwaysquestion

    Everything here is Hulu, Netflix, AppleTV, and Roku. I still get plenty of sports by buying directly from the leagues. Everything else we want to see is available somewhere, on an as needed basis. I really have no use for cable tv or network tv.

    I still see commercials, but rarely expensive political ones. The whole thing is a racket for political consultants.

    •  Curious about cutting the cord (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I have Comcast Cable in Maryland, with the old "Bundle" of tv, internet, and phone.  I know if I cancel the tv and phone, the cost of the internet service at my current speed preference shoots up.  Total cost will be less than the entire bundle, which is currently discounted at about $125-$130 a month.  The internet only might end up around $80 a month, rather than the "discounted bundle price", but it just irritates me a tad about the costs of internet only options, which I have no doubt will creep up like everything else Comcast offers.

      I have not yet researched what speed I really need to stream SD and HD content without buffering issues.  But I would be using Comcast internet if I did get rid of the tv, and I remain tempted to do so.  

      But they have me trapped with the bundle, where I would only see a $35ish dollar decrease in price after losing my whole cable tv package...


      "We're all put to the test... but it never comes in the form or at the point we would prefer, does it?" ~Sir Anthony Hopkins from The Edge

      by Dont Get MAD on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:36:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Consuming US media is like drinking Drano© (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, Cadillac64

    Why would anyone knowingly consume emotional laden, subconsciously suggestive poison?

    Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

    by RF on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:53:20 AM PDT

  •  The DVR is a great time saver (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, VTelder

    No more commercials on network TV or the evening news - 8 minutes out of every 30. No more commercials during NASCAR - easily a third of the broadcast.

    Other than college basketball, there's almost no live TV watched at my house. Those paid political ads are becoming a total waste.

    Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

    by bear83 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:54:07 AM PDT

  •  on targeting a captive audience, can't beat radio! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, slakn1

    they can localize it or nationalize it.

    it can be listened to while driving and working.

    and it's free for them!

    the internet is equally available for both 'sides'. the left may have an advantage with truth and common sense and science, but their campaigns are based on voter suppression and creating doubt and apathy, and they can afford some of the brightest creative brains.

    the difference maker is that huge advantage they have with 1200 radio stations and the 450 coordinated stink tank-scripted blowhards  blasting the country with, for instance, ACA bullshit and benghazi and other diversionary and distortional bullshit.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:56:46 AM PDT

  •  On that Google thing... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Actually, according to the linked article, the survey had been done for Democratic and Republican groups in addition to Google. From the Politico link:

    The survey, conducted for Google, the GOP digital outfit Targeted Victory and the Democratic digital group Well & Lighthouse by the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies and the Democratic consultancy Global Strategy Group
    However, if you go to GSG's web site, they claim:
    The survey, which was commissioned by GSG in partnership with other digital firms Targeted Victory, Well & Lighthouse, and Public Opinion Strategies, took a closer look at the viewing habits of voters and their implications for political campaigns.
    And if you go to the Washington Post article on this, it merely states:
    The survey, presented by Robert Blizzard of the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies and Julie Hootkin of the Democratic firm Global Strategy Group...
    It should be noted that while the PR firm GSG does appear to exclusively have Democratic clients on the political front, it also has numerous other clients, such as GE, Time Warner, Comcast, Silverstein Properties, UFC, Wellpoint, etc. Additionally it represents a number of charitable organizations. POS does not list their clients, but they likewise state they represent businesses and organizations.

    The WSJ also reported that Google was one of the funders of the study. Interestingly, I couldn't find any link to the poll itself, nor to which firm(s) actually did the polling if it was commissioned out by the PR groups hired for the study. Apparently, POS frequently works in conjunction with two automated polling services.

  •  Same here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Only have Amazon Prime, Kindle, and Sirius/XM.  Do not miss satellite TV/Cable at all.  Has done wonders for my blood pressure! (Am an old guy)

  •  I need to look into (0+ / 0-)

    getting the National Geographic and any other educational channel via streaming or other.  We get the media package (phone, internet and cable) and the one we really need, of course, is internet.  The phone works out as basically free when we get the package rather then get just the other two by piece.

    That phone acts as a filter for corporate intrusion.  I give that number out when I order things over the internet and they demand a phone number.  That number is on a list that is used by telemarketers over and over again even though we are on the do not call list.  I don't want my cell phone to ring that much.  Yes, I know I can screen the calls, but I simply do not want to even check it that many times a day.

    We never watch network news.  Ever.  MSNBC and some CNN is pretty much it.  CNN gets very little time for news...did pick up on that ChicagoLand series.

    Frankly, I see network news as a dinosaur.  They abused their audience with sensationalism.  They figured out they sold more air time when parties had to defend themselves so they skewed reports.  They can die off as far as I am concerned.  But who gets the bandwidth?

    The interesting thing will be how political parties sell to a new generation that seems more likely to recognize a snakeoil salesman.  This is the generation that reject organized religion and churches.  This is the generation that rejects energy spent attacking others.  (See them not attacking gay?  No energy spent there.)  How do you get to a generation that will ignore you by using a cheap set of earbuds?  Facebook?  Twitter?  What?  My daughter think F & T are lame and never signed up.  New trend?

    1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

    by alwaysquestion on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:33:29 AM PDT

  •  What do you political experts think of this: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cadillac64, slakn1

    As a strategy for a precinct:

    Start making calls.

    Make sure they are registered to vote.

    Make sure they are Democratic leaning (or otherwise don't follow up).

    Ask if they would be willing to volunteer just a little bit (everyone is afraid of a big commitment).

    If they show any willingness ask them to call 15 people (maybe off of a good list).  For those 15 people ask the same questions as above.

    If someone wants to volunteer make sure they return that name to you.

    You follow up with them to make sure they fulfilled their commitment.

    And as the election approaches they are responsible to making sure their 15 people vote.

    Kind of like a chain letter (and some of your volunteers will do a lot more).

    The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

    by NCJim on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:38:37 AM PDT

  •  For the latest on NY-21 (0+ / 0-)

    Or at least my take on what is happening in NY-21, where the race is shaping up as wealthy progressive carpet-bagger first-time candidate Aaron Woolf against wealthy conservative carpet-bagger first-time candidate Elise Stefanik, see this diary.

  •  Gave up Tv a year ago (0+ / 0-)

    I do not get traditional TV, I got tired of paying 100 dollars a month for a bunch of stuff I really did not want to watch. I use a streaming device, Netflix and HULU plus at a great savings and am much happier person.  I get all my via the internet. It is the way to go although I am sure that those big cable companies are working on schemes to find new way to charge for their internet services.  

  •  I haven't watched any live TV (0+ / 0-)

    in over a year. I'll bet a lot of highly-educated people don't.

    You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment.

    by MikePhoenix on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 10:31:03 AM PDT

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