Saturday, November 30, 2019

Two Democratic Billionaires Are Making A Mockery Of Democracy


Here in California, we don't usually get inundated with campaign ads, at least not the way Iowa and New Hampshire-- and more recently, Nevada and South Carolina, do. California has always been too late in the campaign season. And California is, by far, the country's most expensive media market. But that all changed. California is a SuperTuesday state now and early voting will already be in full swing by the time tiny Iowa caucuses. So... this past weekend Bloomberg blanketed the airwaves of the state with millions of dollars in ads. One politically-unsophisticated but fired-up anti-Trump friend was sold. She's voting for Bloomberg... if she remembers to vote. Everyone else who mentioned having seen the ads was disgusted and turned off. "The billionaire is trying to buy the election" is what I heard most. Bloomberg's strategy is to crush Status Quo Joe and Mayo Pete and then present himself as the alternative to either of the two actual Democrats in the race, Bernie and Elizabeth. His greed-driven, ravenous consultants say he has enough money to achieve just that and force America into a general election pitting two billionaires against each other and making everyone pick between two evils.

Yesterday Politico published a piece by Trent Spiner, New Hampshire voters to Steyer: Make it stop!, along the same lines. In New Hampshire, he sat through 17 Steyer ads in an hour of watching Pentatonix music on YouTube. "Some Granite staters," he wrote, "said they’re seeing Steyer’s ads dozens of times a day-- and it’s become more grating than ingratiating... Even some of Steyer’s local staff privately acknowledge the volume of ads has gone overboard."

Steyer has massively outspent other Democratic candidates on social media in an effort to gain traction in polls and ensure he makes the debate stage. But the recoiling of some New Hampshire voters suggests there are limits to the strategy-- Michael Bloomberg beware. Indeed, some residents feel like they can't touch a piece of technology without seeing his face.

“There is a point of no return in terms of visibility," said Scott Spradling, a New Hampshire media analyst. "At some point, you become the uninvited guest. He uniquely is becoming dangerously close."

Steyer has spent $55.6 million in advertising nationally so far this election, with a heavy focus on digital, according to Advertising Analytics. In New Hampshire, he has purchased several multitudes more Facebook advertising than the campaigns of Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders combined. His Facebook ads over the last three months represented more than a third of all political spending-- from both parties-- on the platform, according to a review of Facebook’s database.

At the national level, Steyer has spent $6.5 million on Facebook in the last three months, $2.8 million more than the next biggest spender, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. He also outspent Warren by $4.2 million; Sanders by $4.7 million; and Biden by $5.7 million, according to tracking provided by the social media platform.

He outspent President Donald Trump’s reelection effort by $700,000 in the same period.

Steyer has also spent millions on Google advertising, especially YouTube video ads. His campaign declined to discuss their strategy beyond stating he is committed “to communicating with voters about the importance of this election across a multitude of digital platforms.”

Without much of a national profile before the election, Steyer has tried to target the four early-nominating states in an effort to introduce himself to voters. In one way, it has worked just enough to get him a podium on nationally-televised debates. But on the ground, the ads don’t appear to be moving the needle much with voters. Steyer has steadily polled at about 2 percent in New Hampshire since the summer.

In contrast, Bloomberg is using his estimated ad buy to blanket the country. The former three-term New York mayor’s first ad focuses on his leadership after 9/11. He has ad buys scheduled in the lower 48 states, including one that will air in the media market of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

Joe Trippi, a veteran Democratic strategist who has worked on several high profile presidential campaigns, said of Steyer: “Spending this kind of money in the early states and being still in the single digits, that tells you he is having trouble connecting. You could spend $100 million like that and it may not work.”

Steyer was asked directly in a recent radio interview whether he’s passed the point of saturation to annoyance.

“I hear a lot of complaints about your social media ads blocking their YouTube videos,” the host told the candidate, referring to her teenagers. “You apparently got the high-end ones that you have to watch.”

“If people actually hear my message, they do respond,” Steyer replied. “I’m ... someone who people don’t know anything about and trying to make a very specific point and introduce myself.”

The two billionaires, one-- Bloomberg-- a moderate Republican pretending to be a Democrat and the other-- Steyer-- a moderate Democrat, are competing to spend the most personal money. The view from the right is that Elizabeth and Bernie are the ones trying to buy the election because they are offering to help the working class with their popular policies. Listen to the GOP slob in the red vest on CNBC's right-wing propaganda show, Squawk Box:

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At 5:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What democracy? Steyer and Bloomberg are also both corporatists, having made their fortunes in the corporate world. This election is going to determine whether corporatist rule is going to cement itself into permanent power - or not. It's a contest as close to war as one can get without taking up weapons, although that can't be ruled out at some point.

At 5:55 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Howie - you gotta include Bloomberg's speech at the Republican convention in 2004 supporting George W. Bush. That should turn most Democrats completely off. He was a Republican before he became a Democrat, which is extremely suspicious in and of itself. Bloomberg is a chameleon who changed colors when it suited him. No Democrat should vote for him.

At 6:04 AM, Blogger Ten Bears said...

What it - yes, it - he and Steyer both, are doing is driving a subset of the dems to Trump. They are campaigning for Trump. Wouldn't be surprised to find them together on a third party ticket.

At 6:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hone, Bloomberg became a democrap when the Nazis ran so far right even he couldn't stomach them, and the democraps eased into some of the republicans' former territory. He didn't move. The parties did.

But what's the difference between an obscenely rich narcissist buying the office out of vanity or several obscenely big/rich corporations giving biden or pete money to buy it for THEIR benefit?

The difference is that, in the latter case, they also buy fealty from an entire party for their service. We only assume that 'stop-n-frisk' mike and the other guy will be as friendly to the corporations they are not closely tied to.

We can presume that neither one will give a shit about you and me.

Our democracy has been a twisted mockery for many decades.

At 8:43 AM, Blogger 4earth said...

Steyer says nobody knows him and thus all the ads. The thing is, what makes him think anyone WANTS to know him? He's a totally inexperienced billionaire who wants to be president. How well did that work out last time? As for Bloomberg, he's running in the wrong party. Progressives don't want NYC's rejects. I understand he now wants to be called "Mike" so he appears more "folksy". GO HOME MIKE!

At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bloomberg and Steyer both understand the golden rule of American politics. All who vote to support democraps do so without regard to the quality of the democrap candidate.

They do so only out of fear and loathing of the Nazis.

All they have to do is outspend biden and pete, smear them a little, and get some delegates for the convention. Once past the first ballot, the superdelegates can and will decide which corporate candidate wins. The party openly told their voters to bend over and like it once before -- in '68.

Let's say, just for giggles, that both of them pledge to the DNC that, if nominated, they'll self-fund to the tune of, say, 5 billion. The party could keep all the grift they collect from wall street, health insurance, phrma, war street, etc. for the next round. I think they'd find that to be an offer they could not refuse.

Who knows. FDR ran as just a little less horrid than hoover and won. Once he took office, only then did he become FDR. I had hoped obamanation might find a little inner FDR... when he started naming his cabinet I knew that wasn't going to happen.
Maybe Bloomberg has a little FDR in him.

nah. not bloody likely.

Even if the nom wins and finds his inner FDR, he'll still have to overcome the corporate firewalls of schumer and Pelosi.


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