Jeb Bush made a final play for getting momentum in what has been an incredibly difficult campaign for him. He has been in the crowded establishment field all along. But with a clear advantage – money! Jeb Bush has unlimited funds in his campaign and Right To Rise super PAC, but despite pouring millions of dollars into New Hampshire and Iowa.
Now the time has come for the South Carolina primary. And yet again Jeb Bush is spending big. Campaigning hard. And trailing in 4th or 5th in the polls. Way behind Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in 1st and second but worse, in most polls he is behind his competitor for establishment candidate Marco Rubio. In a few polls he has even trailed a John Kasich notoriously ill fitted for South Carolina.
With all this in mind Jeb Bush made his final play: George W Bush ! After years away from the spotlight president 43 joined his little brother for a rally in South Carolina – along with Laura Bush by the way. For the occasion George W. Bush gave one of the most inspired and humorous speeches I ever remember from him, the crowds were huge and happy, Jeb Bush seemed more energized than ever during campaign and the whole vibe made you think – could Jeb be this seasons comeback kid ?
In fact he could! On average Jeb Bush is 3-5% behind Rubio in the polls. And the comeback requires only a third place ahead of Marco Rubio. After such a third place Jeb Bush could get his supporters to start calling for Marco Rubio, John Kasich and Ben Carson to drop out. To narrow the field and accumulate moderate support. Trump and Cruz? Well they will come 1st and 2nd but that will actually only help Jeb Bush in a comeback effort as it makes moderates and establishment GOPs all the more eager to unite against the two frontrunners.
But if Jeb Bush comes 4th or 5th in South Carolina its lights out. Maybe he wont admit it instantly. Maybe he will battle on through super tuesday. But he wont be the republican nominee and he will be the one called upon to drop out.Read more
Trump is winning. If someone in the GOP has the clout to do so he should get Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and John Kasich in the same room. Sit them down, lock the door and not let them leave until they have agreed to a pack going:
We all endorse Marco Rubio for president, John Kasich for Vice president and Jeb Bush for secretary of state. We announce it now and campaign from now till november together. This model brings Florida (Rubio and Bush) and Ohio (Kasich) within reach in the general – and combined the 3 candidates have a current support of around 30%, but combined their ceiling will likely be a lot higher plus they will have several super PACs and tons of establishment endorsements at hand. This way, they can stop Trump. Maybe. But it would have to happen well before super tuesday.
Sad for them. It will not happen. So they will just have to keep brawling against eachother to be the anti-Trump whilst the Donald himself collects delegates.
Hillary needs to eliminate this Bernie guy from the race. She clearly “won” the pre-South Carolina debate against him, she will win the primary and the nomination too. But, he is already hurting her for the general election.
The problem is not that he is being negative or nasty, in fact he is being old buffoony uncle about it all. But, he does force her to defend herself against the left flank non-stop. Leaving Bernie with all the enthuiast idealists in his camp, leaving him yelling progressive things and her having to be the moderate voice of reason non-stop. It would be much better for to argue the other way – whilst building an enthusiastic nationwide base of activists of her own.Read more
I was watching post New Hampshire speeches last night .. a quite bizarre experience indeed.
The Donald … he was obviously thrilled about his win, thanking a lot of seemingly random – mostly dead – people. Aside from that it was a strange stream-of-consciousness goldfish attention span speech … “Hey we are gonna make america great again, remember that, hey you overthere I love that sign, lets build a wall, you know i have experience building things, oh I should thank my brother, he´s upthere, dead, but we should rebuild the military so nobody messes with America ever again, omg lets make america great … and on and on …
Second in line came Kasich, who seemed like a very friendly and likeable guy. He spent his 30minutes speech telling us how we all need to hug a bit more. And that was as close as he got to a political idea or suggestion.
Rubio took the blame for his blatant failure in the primary and pointed the finger at himself for messing up at the debate by using robotic talking points over and over. He did this by using obvious talking points. And then rescinded and blamed the media the day after.
Hillary lost by 22 points, bigger than expected and gave an upbeat victory speech with Chelsea and Bill clapping happily in the background. She has clearly been told to try and look human, it really is a struggle for her.
…and finally a 74-old nerdy looking guy called Bernie with a 50yo career in Washington promised change and a socialist revolution, yelled at all the nasty insiders, promised that in future everything (university tuitions, health care and many other things) will be free. All paid for by taxing Wall Street. All his teen fans seemed to love it and for a while I feared he was gonna start doing Footloose dancing.Read more
A campaign team (which may be as small as one inspired individual, or a heavily-resourced group of professionals) must consider how to communicate the message of the campaign, recruit volunteers, and raise money. Campaign advertising draws on techniques from commercial advertising and propaganda. The avenues available to political campaigns when distributing their messages is limited by the law, available resources, and the imagination of the campaigns’ participants. These techniques are often combined into a formal strategy known as the campaign plan. The plan takes account of a campaign’s goal, message, target audience, and resources available. The campaign will typically seek to identify supporters at the same time as getting its message across.
Campaign advertising is the use of paid media (newspapers, radio, television, etc.) to influence the decisions made for and by groups. These ads are designed by political consultants and the campaign’s staff.
The public media (in US parlance ‘free media’ or ‘earned media’) may run the story that someone is trying to get elected or to do something about such and such.
Mass meetings, rallies and protests
Holding protests, rallies and other similar public events (if enough people can be persuaded to come) may be a very effective campaign tool. Holding mass meetings with speakers is powerful as it shows visually, through the number of people in attendance, the support that the campaign has.
Modern technology and the internet
The internet is now a core element of modern political campaigns. Communication technologies such as e-mail, web sites, and podcasts for various forms of activism to enable faster communications by citizen movements and deliver a message to a large audience. These Internet technologies are used for cause-related fundraising, lobbying, volunteering, community building, and organizing. Individual political candidates are also using the internet to promote their election campaign.
Signifying the importance of internet political campaigning, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign relied heavily on social media, and new media channels to engage voters, recruit campaign volunteers, and raise campaign funds. The campaign brought the spotlight on the importance of using internet in new-age political campaigning by utilizing various forms of social media and new media (including Facebook, YouTube and a custom generated social engine) to reach new target populations. The campaign’s social website, my.BarackObama.com, utilized a low cost and efficient method of mobilizing voters and increasing participation among various voter populations. This new media was incredibly successful at reaching the younger population while helping all populations organize and promote action.
A husting, or the hustings, was originally a physical platform from which representatives presented their views or cast votes before a parliamentary or other election body. By metonymy, the term may now refer to any event, such as debates or speeches, during an election campaign where one or more of the representative candidates are present.
- Writing directly to members of the public (either via a professional marketing firm or, particularly on a small scale, by volunteers)
- By distributing leaflets or selling newspapers
- Through websites, online communities, and solicited or unsolicited bulk email
- Through a new technique known as Microtargeting that helps identify and target small demographic slices of voters
- Through a whistlestop tour – a series of brief appearances in several small towns
- Hampering the ability of political competitors to campaign, by such techniques as counter-rallies, picketing of rival parties’ meetings, or overwhelming rival candidates’ offices with mischievous phone calls (most political parties in representative democracies publicly distance themselves from such disruptive and morale-affecting tactics, with the exception of those parties self-identifying as activist
- Organizing political house parties
- Using endorsements of other celebrated party members to boost support (see coattail effect)
- Remaining close to or at home to make speeches to supporters who come to visit as part of a front porch campaign
- Vote-by-mail, previously known as ‘absentee ballots’ have grown significantly in importance as an election tool. Today, campaigns in most states must have a strategy in place to impact early voting
- Sale of official campaign merchandise (colloquially known as chum, in reference to the baiting technique) as a way of commuting a competitor’s popularity into campaign donations, volunteer recruitment, and free advertising
Ready for a long night of following the Iowa caucus.
…and whichever way the democrats vote tonight Hillary Clinton is gonna be their candidate. There´ll be plenty of talk about how competitive and exciting the race is but Sanders doesnt have a hope in hell when it comes to counting delegates in the end.
…Sanders is no Obama. Sadly, neither is Hillary. She´s about as dull, lacking in visions and carrying in nasty luggage as it gets … but she´ll still be the nominate. If she becomes president is probably a matter of who the republicans run against her – shes weak and nothingy enough to beat – but it might take someone not entirely fanatically demented (so that rules out Cruz, Trump, Huckabee, Santorum and so forth) … so, tonight its Rubio vs Bush vs Kasich vs Christie … and alot of republicans prolly wont really care so long as at least 2 of those drop out shortly … and if they all fail and Cruz/Trump are the last men standing, Hillary can have an early zip of that champagne.Read more
Modern political campaigns have set new standards for how successful campaigns are conducted day-to-day. The campaign is conducted in what would seem to the public like pseudo-military style, with a strict chain of command, zero tolerance for certain prohibited actions, and an extended daily schedule that starts early and ends much later than most “day jobs.”
Prohibited actions may include, but are not limited to: lying about numbers generated (e.g. phone calls made, doors knocked, volunteers recruited, etc.) – this is increasingly an issue in offices that are wirelessly connected, without direct oversight; going outside the chain of command (e.g. talking to a superior’s superior who happens to be a friend in order to get special favors or report information); non-press-shop members talking to the press; blogging (considered another form of “talking to the press,” which can interfere with message discipline); and being arrested (or otherwise becoming a potential easy target for opponent smear campaigns).
The daily schedule of a political campaign is hyperextended, and often has no definite beginning or end, only a series of tasks to be completed by certain benchmark times (or, most often, “COB” (“close of business”). COB for political campaigns is generally defined as “the time at night at which your supervisor is required to report his/her numbers” (or shortly beforehand), so that your numbers reporting (generally the last action a political campaigner takes before COB) can be factored into theirs. For example, a Field Organizer may have collected 9 new committed volunteers for an event during the day; he will be required to report this at 8:45pm to his Regional Field Director, so that the Regional can report that all Field Organizers in the region recruited 52 total volunteers for said event; which needs to be reported to the Deputy State Field Director by 9:00, so that THEY can speak to the State Field Director at 9:15 and report that 827 volunteers have been recruited for events around the state; and so on, up the chain of command.
Once each of these reporting sequences is finished, organizers at all levels may do paperwork, send emails, call friends, and do other things which are not effective to do during business hours or “voter contact time.” Political campaigns are generally about contacting voters and volunteers at the nuts-and-bolts level; and so dependent on state law, local peculiarities and the preferences of campaign organizers and volunteers, a certain block of time (usually ending at 8pm or 9pm) is set aside each night for “voter/volunteer contact.” (Violation of this block of time to conduct other activities often cannot happen or needs a strong justification, such as attending an important meeting.) Only a very small fraction of campaign workers (such as people who deal with vendors) do the bulk of their work during traditional business hours.Read more
The message of the campaign contains the ideas that the candidate wants to share with the voters. The message often consists of several talking points about policy issues. The points summarize the main ideas of the campaign and are repeated frequently in order to create a lasting impression with the voters. In many elections, the opposition party will try to get the candidate “off message” by bringing up policy or personal questions that are not related to the talking points. Most campaigns prefer to keep the message broad in order to attract the most potential voters. A message that is too narrow can alienate voters or slow the candidate down with explaining details. For example, in the election of 2008 John McCain originally used a message that focused on his patriotism and political experience: “Country First”; later the message was changed to shift attention to his role as “The Original Maverick” within the political establishment. Barack Obama ran on a consistent, simple message of “change” throughout his campaign. If the message is crafted carefully, it will assure the candidate a victory at the polls. For a winning candidate, the message is refined and then becomes his or her political agenda in office.
The habit of modern Western media outlets (especially radio and television) of taking short excerpts from speeches has resulted in the creation of the term “soundbite”. Examples might include:
- “John Doe is a businessman, not a politician. His background in finance means he can bring fiscal discipline to state government.”
- “As our society faces a rapid upswing in violent crime and an ever worsening education system, we need leaders who will keep our streets safe and restore accountability to our schools. John Doe is that leader.”
- “Over the past four years, John Doe has missed over fifty City Council meetings. How can you lead if you don’t show up? Jane Doe won’t turn a blind eye to the government.”
Permanent campaign is a theory of political science conceived by Patrick Caddell, then a young pollster for U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who wrote a memo on December 10, 1976 entitled “Initial Working Paper on Political Strategy”.
“Essentially,” Caddell wrote, “it is my thesis governing with public approval requires a continuing political campaign.”
The phrase “the permanent campaign,” its concept and history, were first defined by journalist and later Clinton presidential senior adviser Sidney Blumenthal in his 1980 book, “The Permanent Campaign.” In it, he explained how the changes in American politics from old-style patronage and party organization to that based on the modern technology of computer driven polling and media created a fundamentally new system. He explained that political consultants had replaced the party bosses and brought with them a new model by which campaigning became the forms of governing.
Blumenthal’s work resolved the problem in political science of “critical realignment.” According to Walter Dean Burnham, the leading political scientist of realignment theory, “If we view the arena of American electoral politics in historical perspective, we can say that the contemporary status quo extends back to some point in the mid-to-late 1960s. In his recent study, The Permanent Campaign, Sidney Blumenthal has advanced the argument that a critical realignment in fact occurred at about the point–1968–where many analysts had been expecting. They were, however, looking for realiagnment in the wrong place. For crucial to this one, and the ‘sixth electoral era’ which he argues followed from it, was the exact opposite of all previous events of this type. Instead of being channeled through–and thus revitalizing–the political parties, this realignment involved the conclusive marginal displacement of these parties by the permanent campaign…. The older linkages between rulers and ruled become ever hazier, ever more problematic.” (See Walter Dean Burnham, “The 1984 Election and the Future of American Politics,” in Ellis Sandoz and C.V. Crabb, Jr., ed., Election 84: Landslide without Mandate, New American Library, 1985, p. 206.)
Strategies of this nature have been in active development and use since Lyndon Johnson, where priority is given to short-term tactical gain over long-term vision. The frenzied, headline-grabbing atmosphere of presidential campaigns is carried over into the office itself, thus creating a permanent campaign that limits the ability of policies to deviate from the perceived will of the people (hence, intensive polling).
A famous example that illustrates just how strongly this mind-set has come to influence politics was during the Clinton Administration when pollster Dick Morris asked voters to help decide where Bill Clinton would go on vacation. In the words of columnist Joe Klein, “The pressure to ‘win’ the daily news cycle—to control the news—has overwhelmed the more reflective, statesmanlike aspects of the office.”
Scott McClellan, former White House Press Secretary for U.S. President George W. Bush, wrote in his 2008 memoir What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception that the Bush White House suffered from a “permanent campaign” mentality, and that policy decisions were inextricably interwoven with politics.Read more
Microtargeting is the use by political parties and election campaigns of direct marketing datamining techniques that involve predictive market segmentation (aka cluster analysis). It is used by United States Republican and Democratic political parties and candidates to track individual voters and identify potential supporters.
They then use various means of communication–direct mail, phone calls, home visits, television, radio, web advertising, email, text messaging, etc–to communicate with voters, crafting messages to build support for fundraising, campaign events, volunteering, and eventually to turn them out to the polls on election day. Microtargeting’s tactics rely on transmitting a tailored message to a subgroup of the electorate on the basis of unique information about that subgroup.
Although some of the tactics of microtargeting had been used in California since 1992, it really started to be used nationally only in 2004. In that year, Karl Rove, along with Blaise Hazelwood at the Republican National Committee, used it to reach voters in 18 states that George W. Bush’s reelection campaign was not able to reach by other means. The results were greater contacts with likely Bush voters. For example, in Iowa the campaign was able to reach 92% of eventual Bush voters (compared to 50% in 2000) and in Florida it was able to reach 84% (compared to 50% in 2000). Much of this pioneering work was done by Alex Gage and his firm, TargetPoint Consulting.
Democrats did only limited microtargeting in 2004, with some crediting microtargeting for Kerry’s win in Iowa in 2004. Some news accounts credited Republican superiority in that area for victories in that election cycle. Democrats later developed microtargeting capabilities for the 2006 election cycle. “It’s no secret that the other side [Republicans] figured this out a little sooner”, said Josh Syrjamaki, director of the Minnesota chapter of America Votes in October 2006. “They’ve had four to six years’ jump on us on this stuff…but we feel like we can start to catch up.”
Microtargeting is a modification of a practice used by commercial direct marketers. It would not be possible on a large scale without the development of large and sophisticated databases that contain data about as many voters as possible. The database essentially tracks voter habits in the same ways that companies like Visa track consumer spending habits. The Republican National Committee’s database is called Voter Vault. The Democratic National Committee effort is called VoteBuilder. A parallel Democratic effort is being developed by Catalist, a $9 million initiative headed by Harold Ickes, while the leading non-partisan database is offered by Aristotle.
The databases contain specific information about a particular voter (party affiliation, frequency of voting, contributions, volunteerism, etc.) with other activities and habits available from commercial marketing vendors such as Acxiom, Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Americas, and InfoUSA. Such personal information is a “product” sold to interested companies. These data are particularly illuminating when portrayed through a Geographic Information System (GIS), where trends based on location can be mapped alongside dozens or hundreds of other variables. This geographic depiction also makes it ideal for volunteers to visit potential voters (armed with lists in hand, laid out in the shortest route – much like how FedEx and UPS pre-determine delivery routes).
These databases are then mined to identify issues important to each voter and whether that voter is more likely to identify with one party or another. Political information is obviously important here, but consumer preferences can play a role as well. Individual voters are then put into groups on the basis of sophisticated computer modeling. Such groups have names like “Downscale Union Independents”, “Tax and Terrorism Moderates,” and “Older Suburban Newshounds.”
Once a multitude of voting groups is established according to these criteria and their minute political differences, then the tailored messages can be sent via the appropriate means. While political parties and candidates once prepared a single television advertisement for general broadcast nationwide, it is now not at all uncommon to have several dozen variations on the one message, each with a unique and tailored message for that small demographic sliver of the voting public. This is the same for radio advertisement, direct mail, email, as well as stump speeches and fundraising events.Read more
Happy Independence Day – and cheers to those standing firm on the original constitution.Read more
Happy 1st of May to all you workers outhhere!Read more
International Workers Day – we stand neutral…but happy 1st of may to all the socialists out waving their banners!Read more
American political campaigns have become heavily reliant on broadcast media and direct mail advertising (typically designed and purchased through specialized consultants). Though virtually all campaign media are sometimes used at all levels (even candidates for local office have been known to purchase cable TV ads), smaller, lower-budget campaigns are typically more focused on direct mail, low-cost advertising (such as lawn signs), and direct voter contact. This reliance on expensive advertising is a leading factor behind the rise in the cost of running for office in the United States. This rising cost is considered by some to discourage those without well-monied connections, or money themselves, from running for office.Read more
Scottish minister of transport Stewart Stevenson has been frozen out of office. Not by his fellow minister, parliament or his civil servants, but by the utter chaos caused by snow in Scotland that he failed to find prevent or find any solutions to. Apparently conditions in the scottish highlands were rather awful, airports were closed, thousands were trapped on motorways between Edinburgh and Glasgow, some even stumbled on their way to the pub.
Of course, the scots dont put up with such things and Stewart Stevenson had to take full responsibility, pack his back bag and leave office. Read that again, the minister took responsibility, declared himself a failure and left. They may be frozen fools but the scots sure have more spine than most politicians.
Now think about George W. Bush and his handling of Katrina.Read more