Campaign Insider

Lessons from a nearly $1 billion TV campaign

Lessons from a nearly $1 billion TV campaign

by Dave Nyczepir / Nov 12 2012

The total cost of election 2012 could reach as high as $6 billion, obliterating the previous record. A good chunk of that money was spent on TV.      

On the airways, TV spending on the presidential contest reached close to $1 billion. According to a spending tally from SMG-Delta, the final TV ad spend total between the campaigns of President Obama, Mitt Romney and the outside groups supporting them was $984 million.
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The 5 stages of political loss and grief

The 5 stages of political loss and grief

by Erik Nilsson / Nov 08 2012

The 2012 election season is over, and we are beginning to look forward to 2014. For us Republicans, before we can really close out our 2012 cycle, we need to go through the five stages of political loss and grief before we can move forward.

1. Denial and isolation: This is the "that really didn't just happen, things were trending the right way, how did we not pick up even one

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10 things that mattered in 2012

10 things that mattered in 2012

by Dave Nyczepir / Nov 07 2012

1) The devil was in the demographics…: Most of the post-election buzz explaining why Mitt Romney lost has focused on the GOP’s inability to adapt to the nation’s changing demographics. Gone are the days of the George W. Bush coalition. White evangelicals aren’t enough to win anymore, and even when they were a force, Bush still had to win about 40 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004.

Four years ago, McCain

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How to win in California's top-two system

How to win in California's top-two system

by Sean J. Miller / Nov 07 2012

LOS ANGELES—When President Obama's reelection win was projected on a screen at Rep. Howard Berman's Encino headquarters on Tuesday, not everyone in the room was cheering.

"There’s a lot of Republicans here," a campaign staffer explained.

That might come as a surprise at any other Democratic campaign office on Election Day, but not in this Los Angeles-area district where Berman faced off against fellow Democrat Rep. Brad Sherman.

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Obama wins with comfortable electoral margin

Obama wins with comfortable electoral margin

by Dave Nyczepir / Nov 07 2012

The 2012 election did come down to the state of Ohio, but it all happened much earlier than some had predicted.

President Obama won reelection over Republican challenger Mitt Romney, winning the battleground states of Ohio, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Iowa and Nevada. But once the major networks called Ohio for the president, the official reelection call was soon to follow.

While the battleground state of Florida is yet to be called,

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What can the early vote numbers tell us?

by Dave Nyczepir / Nov 06 2012

When you take early vote numbers at face value, the signs point to a comfortable Obama lead. But when the polls close and the first numbers start coming in, be wary of reading into them, says Michael McDonald, early vote expert at George Mason University.

The estimated 133 million votes to be cast this election is a turnout 1.6 percent less than in 2008, but the estimated 46 million early votes—34.6

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In Northern Virginia, long lines and provisional ballots

In Northern Virginia, long lines and provisional ballots

by Dave Nyczepir / Nov 06 2012

ARLINGTON, Va.—Thirty-eight hundred voters, five machines and three paper ballot stations. That's how many voters were assigned to Northern Virginia's central precinct Tuesday and the number of voting booths in the Central Library polling place. By 6 am, this location had the lines to show it.

Within an hour of polls opening this morning, the line of voters stretched out the parking lot, creating a two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half hour wait. Lois Wessel and

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For Blue Dogs, history has led to this moment

by Brandon Howell / Nov 06 2012

For the last two years moderate Democrats have found themselves in dire political straits. While it might be easy to boil the reasons down to an election cycle that simply didn’t go their way, there’s also a historical angle to consider.

Think about it: Prior to the election of President Obama in 2008, the most liberal occupant of the Oval Office in the previous fifty years was arguably Lyndon B. Johnson. He was

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An Election Day checklist: 10 tasks for Tuesday

An Election Day checklist: 10 tasks for Tuesday

by Dave Nyczepir & Shane D'Aprile / Nov 06 2012

With Election Day finally upon us, it’s the ground game that will separate the winners from the losers in close races across the country.   

We asked a group of campaign managers and GOTV pros for an Election Day game plan and came away with 10 things your campaign needs to make time for on Tuesday.

1. GOTV reminders—early and often: The general consensus on this one is

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Romney makes closing GOTV pitch in Virginia

Romney makes closing GOTV pitch in Virginia

by Dave Nyczepir / Nov 06 2012

FAIRFAX, Va.—The persistent chant from the crowd at one of Mitt Romney’s final rallies just about says it all: “One more day,” an estimated 8,500 supporters cheered at a Monday afternoon event in the Northern Virginia suburbs.    

It was the last event in the critical battleground state of Virginia for Romney before Election Day and part of a grueling day of campaign stops that included rallies in Florida and Manchester,

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7 counties to watch on election night

7 counties to watch on election night

by Chris Palko / Nov 05 2012

Looking for some shortcuts when it comes to projecting which candidate has the edge Tuesday night? Once returns start coming in, turn your focus to these seven counties—they will be small scale indicators of that state and national results:

Prince William County, VA
Virginia will be one of the first states to report results on Tuesday night, and Prince William County is the most important county there. Romney needs to

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Poll watching goes mobile

by Dave Nyczepir / Nov 05 2012

The majority of Democratic campaigns, up and down the ballot, will have real-time intelligence Tuesday on who has actually cast a ballot with the release of NGP VAN’s Mobile Pollwatcher.

Using the data, progressive field teams will be able to target their GOTV activities accordingly and avoid contacting people who have already voted. While Mitt Romney’s campaign launched a similar tool, NGP VAN boasts that its innovation is collaborative, so the

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