Sunday, December 29, 2019


I don't want Mike Bloomberg to be the Democratic presidential nominee, but I'm glad that he's out there spending boatloads of money on advertising that's specifically anti-Trump:
On Facebook and Google alone, where Mr. Bloomberg is most focused on attacking the president, he has spent $18 million on ads over the last month, according to Acronym, a digital messaging firm that works with Democrats.

That is on top of the $128 million the Bloomberg campaign has spent on television ads, according to Advertising Analytics, an independent firm, which projects that Mr. Bloomberg is likely to spend a combined $300 million to $400 million on advertising across all media before the Super Tuesday primaries in early March.

... Mr. Bloomberg is also already spending more than the Trump campaign each week to reach voters online.

... In swing states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that are likely to decide whether Mr. Trump gets re-elected, ads from the president’s campaign and friendly outside groups have been, for the most part, the only paid messages that voters have seen about him. Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign is focusing its efforts there, hoping to erode Mr. Trump’s standing.

“I’ve been telling anyone who will listen, Trump is winning,” said Kevin Sheekey, the campaign manager for Mr. Bloomberg, who argued that the lack of anti-Trump advertising essentially means “he is running unopposed in swing states.”
The ad below seems a bit too meta -- to some extent, it seems to speak the language of Democratic insiders rather than ordinary voters. On the other hand, it features a lot of ordinary voters, who express concern about Trump winning again. That's a motivator. It works less well as a Bloomberg ad -- only at the end is the candidate mentioned. But that's fine with me. What the ad does best, if not perfectly, is to focus viewers' attention on the possibility of a second Trump win. That's good.

We're told:
In interviews, Mr. Bloomberg’s top strategists described how they believe they can undermine Mr. Trump’s standing with voters who are open to reconsidering their support for him. According to the campaign’s data, this is somewhere between 10 percent to 15 percent of the people who voted for him in 2016.
I don't think the numbers are that high, but hey, Bloomberg's a data guy, so his operation might have this right. And even if that's double the real number, remember that Trump won by 0.23% in Michigan, 0.72% in Pennsylvania, and 0.77% in Wisconsin. If you flip one percent of his voters in each state, you win them all.

I've said before that I fear Democrats learned the wrong lesson from 2018. The winning candidates in the midterms downplayed Trump and focused on issues like healthcare, but that made sense because Trump wasn't on the ballot. When he's on the ballot, you need to focus on him -- you need to talk about issues, but you can't allow him and his advertising to define him. You need to remind voters that he's a blight on their lives.
“Say no to chaos,” says one [Bloomberg ad] that appeared on Facebook in North Carolina.

“Another tweet. Another lie. Trump has tweeted thousands of false statements — causing chaos and embarrassing our country,” reads another, depicting a picture of a man covering his face in evident despair as he stands in what appears to be a soybean field. (Soybean farmers have been among the most affected by Mr. Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods.)

Others are more issue-specific and play to a notion that Bloomberg strategists say has tested well in their research: The president is looking out for the interests of big corporations and the wealthy despite promises to improve the lives of working-class Americans.
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