It’s all about the Benjamins baby
I’ve written a couple of times about how shocked I was by the almost total radio silence of the GOP here in Nevada, both in the primaries, and now into the general election. I’ve been covering this shit a long time, and there was just something wrong about it.
The big 2 Democrats, US House member Susie Lee, Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto, and Governor Steve Sisolak rocked. Lee was on every hour, touting her pro choice position, and hammering her presumed opponent on her stance. Cortez-Masto split between puff pieces touting her record, and hammering opponent Adam Laxalt for his subservience to big oil and big pharma. Sisolak ignored Joe Lombardo completely, posting uplifting ads about his accomplishments, including giving Nevada the best economy in the country coming out of Covid.
The GOP candidates out here are so MIA that Lee has stopped advertising, saving her money for October, and Cortez-Masto and Sisolak have cut down on the frequency of their positive ads. And still nothing from a major GOP candidate.
And now we know. We know because of 2 new pieces of reporting that show just how severe the GOP cash crunch is. The New York Times reported that by their analysis, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, which encompasses the primaries, the Democrats are projected to spend $74.2 million in advertising, as opposed to a measly $12.6 million by the GOP. The importance of this kind if a disparity is that it allows the Democrats to successfully frame their opponents, with almost no response from them.
It gets worse. Independent reporting shows that the NRSC has backed out of scheduled ad buys totaling some $10 million from Alaska and Arizona, and instead shifting it to Pennsylvania and Florida?! How much trouble is Rubio in down there? And one more. It has been reported that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is opening the spigot on some $120 million to prop up vulnerable GOP candidates, including places like Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, and Ohio, where apparently The Billionaire Hillbilly can’t be bothered to pick up a pen, and write himself a check.
Here’s the 2nd one. Politico released a recently obtained audio tape of RNC Chair Ronna Romney (You can’t run from your own name, kid) McDaniel spending almost 35 minutes wheedling, begging, cajoling and chastising deep pocket donors to open the cash box and support Trump’s moronic candidates for the Senate. Doormat McDaniel claims that their message is solid, they just need the cash to get it out there. So far, it doesn’t seem to have had much of an effect. GOP big money donors know a dog candidate when they see one.
Here are two reasons why this is so important. First, You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
By having blanket control of the airwaves, the Democrats have been able to brand themselves positively, while branding their opponents negatively, all without suffering return fire. And they’ve been able to do it for months! Don’t think that those impressions aren’t getting baked in voters heads right now.
Here’s the second part, and it actually comes in two pieces. The first part is this. In a traditional campaign, you raise as much money as you can, spend what you need to spend in the summer, and keep your powder dry for October and November. But the GOP Senate candidates are getting clobbered so badly in the media that McConnell has no choice. He has to spend like a drunken sailor now, in a desperate attempt to rehabilitate his candidates before it’s too late. And every penny he spends now is one he won’t have for September of October.
The second part is even more ominous for the GOP. There’s a technical term for when you pull advertising money from one or more states, and assign it to other states instead. It’s called triaging. Just like in a mass disaster, you have to pick the patients you think have the best chance of survival, and prioritize them at the expense of the more mortally wounded. As a former paramedic, I can tell you is isn’t easy.
But here’s the McGuffin. In a normal campaign, the triage process doesn’t even start to take place until at least mid September, and running through late October. The object is to give everybody their best shot for as long as possible before starting to cut your losses.
But Sweet Jesus! We’re not even to freakin’ Labor Day yet, and already the NRSC is shuffling their money around to try to plug holes in the dike. Which in itself tells you something important. Despite all of Romney-McDaniel’s desperate psiing and moaning, the NRSC is not looking for the situation to improve anytime soon. If the NRSC honestly thought that the big money donors would come through, they’d leave the current money where it is, and wait for the cavalry to arrive.
It turns out I was right a couple of months ago when I wrote about this as being a possible canary in the coal mine. But in all honesty, I didn’t think it went this far. I thought it was just really shitty GOP candidates in NV who couldn’t scrape together coin. But this reporting shows that it’s a national problem for the GOP, and it likely isn’t improving anytime soon. Deep pocket donors won’t contribute to shitty Trump Senate candidates, and the grassroots money is going straight to Trump. This just keeps getting better and better.