Trump by and large loses the TV advertising war with Biden
When guests enter President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. is just behind DeSantis as the most popular GOP figure in a new poll: Axios Trump supports Ken Paxton against George P. Bush in the Texas Attorney General race MORE‘s Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach, they are greeted by a framed print from a TV guide proudly proclaiming the apprentice # 1 in TV ratings. During the 2016 campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump cited the success of his NBC reality show as the reason for his election and called it a “rating machine”. But as with most of the things Trump once flaunted, the truth about The Apprentice’s reviews painted a very different picture of success. Last year, with Trump hosting it in 2015, his infamous board drama was watched by an average of 7.6 million viewers, a not insignificant number of individuals, but the show ranked 67th on the series.
Long before Trump stepped through those boardroom doors in 2004, he was a fixture on both American television screens and television.
For the past four years, he has spent most of his presidency attending, responding, and consuming television coverage of his government.
Given the President’s direct experience with television, it is most ironic that in these last two weeks of the campaign the former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump supports Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general races GOP lawmakers urge Cuba meeting with Biden For families, money sent home to Cuba shouldn’t be political football MORE Trump absolutely dominates in the airwaves. As the New York Times reports, “Mr. Biden has had an almost 2-to-1 advantage on the airwaves for months. Its dominance is most pronounced in three critical swing states – Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – where it spent about $ 53 million last month versus Trump’s $ 17 million. ”These three states, formerly key components of the 2016“ blues Mauer “could make Trump a president for a term if they return to the Democratic column.
In the top ten battlefield states in the final weeks of this campaign, the Biden campaign outperforms the president’s team in all but one state: Georgia. The former Vice President’s record fundraising in the past two months, totaling $ 747.5 million, fuels this final, overwhelming dominance on the airwaves. With this one-sided resource imbalance, the former vice president’s team can go on the offensive in once deep red states like Arizona, Ohio and Iowa.
Where the president is playing electoral defense on the airwaves, his team is employing a presumably flawed strategy. As the Times further investigates, “About 80 percent of the Trump campaign ads were either negative or so-called contrast advertising, a mixture of opponent criticism and self-promotion. Of these, 62 percent were total attacks. For Mr Biden, around 60 percent of the campaign ads were negative or contrary, only 7 percent were clearly negative. “
Trump’s promotional strategy mirrors his in-person events strategy, with most of the airtime and speaking time devoted to personal complaints and attacking the former vice president. While these efforts can be effective at motivating his supporter base, the ads have had little compelling effect in tarnishing Biden or bringing independents and ticket splinters into the presidential circle. Despite all this negative spending from the Trump campaign, Biden maintains a positive net vote of 7.4 points (51.4 percent positive / 44 percent negative) on Real Clear Politics’ most recent average. In the same survey average, Trump has a net negative rating of 11.3 negative (43.1 positive / 54.4 negative).
The only way President Trump will succeed on November 3rd is by sticking to the major constituencies he wore in 2016, including senior citizens, white voters who live in the suburbs. Right now, Biden leads each of these groups nationally and in many of the major battlefield states that will decide the elections. Many voters in these key groups are uniquely affected by COVID-19, particularly seniors in the most vulnerable age group and Trump’s famous “suburban housewife” who juggles with work and home-learning children.
The vast majority of Team Biden’s ads focused on Coronavirus, Social Security, and Medicare – an approach primarily focused on healthcare in general, with both positive and contrasting messages that clearly resonate with these core voting blocks. Trump, on the other hand, focuses his mostly negative messages on China, immigration and the economy.
Trump’s media strategy is largely a repeat of his 2016 offer against the insurgents Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonA road to climate, economic and environmental justice is finally on the horizon Polls Failed in 2020 – and that’s a lesson for journalists and experts Biden plays presidential muscles in campaigning with Virginias McAuliffe MORE, where he spent the majority of his advertising promoting Clinton’s negatives.
The Trump campaign failed to recognize that the president is no longer the insurgent, but the current owner of the Oval Office, who has been responsible for his files in the office for the past four years.
In spending so much of its limited resources on negative ads, the Trump campaign is making a likely fatal mistake of not giving the convincing Americans reason to support the incumbent president for another four years.
Kevin Walling (@kevinpwalling) is a Democratic strategist, vice president at HGCreative, co-founder of Celtic Strategies, and a regular guest on Fox News, Fox Business, and Bloomberg TV and Radio.