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COVID IS STILL HURTING FUNDRAISING AS PROJECTIONS FOR 2020 SPENDING RISE

Fundraisers are still bracing their clients for tighter budgeting as observers ratchet up projections for political spending this cycle … Lindsay Jacobs Seti, executive director of Majority Money, agreed that the team effort is gaining popularity this cycle. “There’s been a huge uptick in the amount of revenue sharing agreements between candidates on WinRed as well as on Anedot and the other payment processors,” she said. “They’ve got to find way to reach new audiences.”

WHY CAMPAIGNS NEED TO IGNORE THE UNCERTAINTY

We don’t know what the next few months will hold. One thing is for certain, though: There will be an election on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

For new candidates and those running for reelection, the questions we’re getting are very much the same. How do I plan and run an effective campaign when the world isn’t making sense?

COVID-19 adds a new challenge to election-year politicking

Picnics, county fairs, and local festivals are out. Zoom meetings and email blasts are in.

Coronavirus restrictions hit North Carolina days after the March 3 state primary. None of the winners anticipated that within a few weeks, social distancing would reduce their campaigns to virtual meet-and-greets.

The New Power Of Incumbency: How COVID-19 Has Changed Voters’ Expectations For Politicians

Since 1964, voters have returned their incumbent representative to Washington 93 percent of the time. 

In recent years, however, the advantage typically belonged to the outsider candidate, the person vowing to drain the swamp from the state capital to Washington, D.C. But the tables appear to be turning again. Added to the many life-altering changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic this year is a renewed desire for security and stability.

In other words, the power of incumbency is back.

FUNDRAISERS SHIFTING STRATEGIES TO COPE WITH CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

“Everyone is a little bit panicked right now, but this doesn’t fundamentally change the course of how fundraising works. The plans are there, this is about continuing to execute them,” said Lindsay Jacobs, executive director of Majority Money, an independent company under the umbrella of GOP mega-firm Majority Strategies.

Bloomberg’s $500 Million Experiment Worked

One way to look at the Bloomberg campaign is as proof that attention-hacking digital and media strategies are mostly hot air — a quadrennial transfer of money from campaigns to creative consultants and media outlets that’s hyped but not all that productive. If $500 million can’t win you one state in the primary, what does that say about the Trump campaign digital ad juggernaut Democrats are terrified to go up against? Just how effective are all those pesky, political ads Facebook refuses to fact check?

A TALE OF TWO SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES

For evidence that social media is ground zero for many campaigns, look no further than what President Trump’s campaign has been able to do. Millions of low-dollar contributions, an active online following that spans every nook and cranny of the country. Every Democrat presidential campaign is trying to duplicate the success that the Trump campaign has had on social media, but with uneven results. Enter Michael Bloomberg.

Trump’s Digital Advantage Is Freaking Out Democratic Strategists

“In a blog post published in November, a year before the 2020 election, Brian Burch, the president of CatholicVote.org, a socially conservative advocacy group, announced that in Wisconsin alone his organization had identified 199,241 Catholics ‘who’ve been to church at least 3 times in the last 90 days.’”

FACEBOOK WON’T CURB AD TARGETING, PLEDGES MORE ‘USER CONTROL’

Reid Vineis of the Republican firm Majority Strategies agreed: “This sets a dangerous precedent of promoting voters to disengage from the political system and receiving less information about our government,” he said. “Facebook’s move is likely worse for the political process than removing targeting as other platforms have because now voters who opt-out will be less likely to participate in the democratic process.”

CONSULTANT PREDICTIONS FOR 2020: BUCKLE UP

Reid Vineis: “Changes in political digital advertising won’t stop in 2020. I’d expect to see more regulations by the platforms themselves and from regulators in Washington and in the states.”

TRUMP IMPEACHMENT A BOON FOR DIGITAL FUNDRAISERS ON BOTH SIDES

“Building a custom audience of supporters is a more successful long-term strategy than trying to make an outside list work for your purposes,” said Lindsay Jacobs, a GOP fundraising consultant who heads Majority Money.

“Renting or purchasing has an upfront cost without the data to demonstrate the likelihood that those individuals will give to you. If you want to reach beyond your own audience, revenue sharing agreements are a great low-risk way to reach new prospects and gain new supporters.”

EXCLUSIVE: Voter Data in Battleground States Shows Americans’ Confidence in Trump

According to Bill Skelly, CEO of Causeway Solutions, a leader in the data field, the RNC’s information is “unmatched.”

“I work with RNC voter data every day and the quality and breadth of information is unmatched. The data is refreshed daily with information collected through the tireless efforts of RNC-led volunteers, activists and campaigns out there making phone calls and knocking on the doors of real voters in real time,” Skelly told Townhall. “As a result, Republicans have an extremely valuable asset that their Democrat counterparts are rightly jealous of.”