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December 30, 2023

Entry 1: 12/30/23

Since this is our first entry we will cover a few items and then backfill a bit over the next week or so while we also give you what's new in Dean Phillips World. 

Our plan is to surprise in New Hampshire. And show that not only is Joe Biden not the right candidate for the Democratic Party, but also that Dean Phillips is the right alternative. We are now into our second week of our paid media campaign. 

We started with a one minute ad called the New Hampshire Way. It hits some important points, including that Joe Biden is wrong to boycott New Hampshire, and that Dean Phillips is campaigning everywhere across the state on an affordability agenda and protecting a woman's right to choose. It closes with some biographical elements that highlight Dean's experience professionally and personally, and has received good response from Granite Staters.

We've since added in a 30 second ad called Out of Time that again raises the issue of lack of affordability that is hurting so many families. We are also hearing great things about it from folks who have seen it. This emphasis on the actual experience of regular people stands in stark contrast to the tone deaf "All is Well" messaging coming from Washington. As Dean says in the ad, "Washington is out of touch” and “out of time." Unless you think it's time for Trump, which absolutely no one over here is up for.

This coming week we will be adding in another ad that deals with an issue that voters continuously raise as a major problem. Without giving away too much, the ad also connects that issue very very personally to Dean and his family. Stay tuned.

Surprisingly, what Granite Staters appear not to have heard enough about is the fact that there is overwhelming evidence that the President will lose to Trump. Accepting Nate Silver's observation that a Democrat has to win the popular vote by 3% in order overcome the Republicans' electoral college advantage, President Biden is losing the White House to Trump in over 75 polls within the last few months. And the President's favorables aren't really improving.

We are also spending on digital ads because you have to hit both TV and digital.  As campaign veterans know, this discussion of the right mix is a very important one because limited resources have to be allocated efficiently. There's been a lot of study and debate of their relative value. In our collective campaign experience you see the impact on awareness of the election and of the candidate when a big TV buy happens. It's really palpable.  

That's not to say digital doesn't play a role, especially as people move away from broadcast and cable. Primary voters as a rule skew older, however, so that has to be taken into account when making these decisions because older voters tend to watch more television. And we are still working to understand the impact of digital as a persuasion tool, some good research on this here.

Simply put: TV is still king.

We are of course watching what other TV buys are happening. When one places a TV buy or even a reservation (which doesn't have to be paid until later and can be canceled if not used), that information is publicly available. So we are ready to respond quickly as we gather more information about what other campaigns and outside groups are spending or reserving. This close to the election, you can expect to see outside groups, in particular, reserving time for all the upcoming weeks so they can get the time. 

All that being said about advertising, any voter persuasion that is not followed up with a vigorous GOTV plan is going to underperform. You can create 75% support for your candidate but if those voters sit home it's all a waste. Without getting too far into the weeds (and maybe we already have), there has been a lot of interest lately in politics about which tactics change voter attitudes without sufficient focus on what actually changes the outcome of the election. After all, the whole point of a political advertising campaign is to get the requisite number of voters to show up at a certain time, at a certain place and to cast a vote for one's candidate. The deliverable in politics is not voter attitudes, or voter "engagement." It's voters' votes. So here's to increasing votes for Dean Phillips in New Hampshire!

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