Tag Archives: 3-2-1

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is XVII

MSNBC dishes most of the red meat this week with weekly ad buys.  We don’t have the details for each market but the markets included (and not included) tell a much bigger story.  Look at the week-over-week shift.  Last week had the Romney campaign’s entire 3-2-1 strategy for winning the election: Virginia (2x), Ohio (2x), Florida (2x), Colorado (1x), Iowa (2x) and Wisconsin (1x). This week the front-half of the 3-2-1 strategy carpet bombs Ohio (4x) but thins appreciably after that: no Virginia, Florida down to one market, and it’s the back-half of the 3-2-1 strategy that remains: Colorado (1x), Wisconsin (2x), Iowa (1x) with the expansion to Nevada (1x). This Battleground ad spending shift is a huge win for Romney. As MSNBC writes:

One of the “tells” we told you about MONTHS ago about this battleground map was to keep an eye on October and see where the battle was being waged more intensely. If it was in the New South battleground states of FL/NC and VA more than the Midwest, advantage Obama. Well, this list of markets tells you, the battle is in the Midwest, that’s good news for Romney.

Without the ad points (we asked for them) it’s hard to tell the saturation but MSNBC reported the gross dollar figures which are staggering:

This week alone, more than $58 million is being spent. Obama leads the pack with $20 million spent, but Romney is close at $16.5 million (of course, he is getting less bang for the buck because of when his campaign books ads). With outside groups factored in, Team Romney’s outspending Team Obama this week, $34 million to $24 million.

Regarding the ad points, according to MSNBC:

Romney has more ad points than Obama narrowly in Denver, Mason City, and Orlando.

A quick guide: RNC is the Republican National Committee, ROF is Restore Our Future (Romney Super PAC); AFP is Americans for Prosperity (pro-Romney group); CWA is Concerned Women for America (pro-Romney group); NRA is National Rifle Association (pro-Romney); AFF is American Future Fund (pro-Romney); and Priorities is Priorities USA Action (pro-Obama Super PAC).

Hottest Markets for the week 10/15-10/21 Hottest Markets for the week 10/8-10/14
1. Green Bay, WI
2. Denver, CO
3. Cincinnati, OH
4. Columbus, OH
5. Madison, WI
6. Toledo, OH
7. Rochester-Mason City, MN-Austin, IA
8. Cleveland, OH
9. Orlando-Daytona Beach. FL
10. Las Vegas, NV
1. Orlando, FL (Obama 1600, Romney1600, ROF 775, Priorities 630, ROF 215)
2. Norfolk VA (Romney 1500, Obama 1300, ROF1200, Priorities 350, NRA 300)
3. Cleveland, OH (Romney 1500, Obama 1500, AmCrossroads 1200, Priorities 400)
4. Denver, CO (Romney 1500, Obama 1500, AmCrossroads 1200, Priorities 300)
5. Toledo, OH (Romney 1500, Obama 1500, AmCrossroads 1100, Priorities 300, NRA 250)
6. Des Moines, IA (Romney 1500, Obama 1300, ROF 1000, Priorities 350, American Future Fund 360)
7. Roanoke, VA (Romney 1500, ROF 1500, Obama 750, Priorities 300, NRA 400)
8. Cedar Rapids, IA (Romney 1500, Obama 1300, ROF 780, American Future Fund 415, Priorities 400)
9. Green Bay, WI (Romney 1500, ROF 1500, Obama 500, Priorities 500, NRA 400)
10. Tampa, FL (Romney 1,500, Obama 1500, ROF 675, NRA 250)

MSNBC takeaways:
Ohio, Ohio, Ohio. Four of the top 10 hottest markets this week (in terms of advertising points from Oct. 15-21) are in the Buckeye State. Wisconsin has two, including Green Bay in the top spot. One striking thing about this week’s top markets — no Virginia. Markets like Norfolk, Roanoke, and Richmond have routinely been in the top 10, but they have dropped out to 16, 21, and 22, respectively. The Obama campaign has maintained its levels in Norfolk and Richmond, but cut it in half in Roanoke, from 1,500 points to 795 this week. The Romney campaign, on the other hand, INCREASED its spending in that market. The Obama campaign increased in places like Mason City, IA.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is XVI

After a one week hiatus (never did get last week’s info from NBC) the weekly top 10 ad markets is back with only one surprise, Green Bay, Wisconsin. If there weren’t any weekly gaps we could have done some really need stuff with this data but alas …

The no brainer states of Virginia, Ohio and Florida dominate the list which comes as no surprise.  We see the campaign focused Battlegrounds of Colorado, Iowa and Wisconsin being the real stories. This is straight out of Karl Rove’s 3-2-1 strategy he wrote about 5-months ago (Day 2 of this b log!)with 3 being Indiana, North Carolina and Virgina (2 out of 3 done), 2 being Ohio and Florida (obvious priorities through election day) and 1 being Colorado, Iowa or Wisconsin (based on this week’s spending).

While Team Romney is making a play for the other states (New Hampshire and Nevada) clearly they see their best chances in the three making today’s list.  The Romney campaign clearly saw concern in Iowa which bolsters the claim that Obama’s unprecedented 3-day commitment in August paid real dividends. No surprise comparatively new American Future Fund is big in Iowa as the conservative organization is headed by ex-GOP Iowa staffers. Additionally the pro-Romney teams are saturating Wisconsin which is a great sign about its potential vulnerability to flipping.  Finally, we see the NRA entering the mix in Norfolk, Virginia which is great since their constituency is both loyal and passionate which should help turnout.   All good signs that everything is on full blast for the final three weeks.

A quick guide: RNC is the Republican National Committee, ROF is Restore Our Future (Romney Super PAC); AFP is Americans for Prosperity (pro-Romney group); CWA is Concerned Women for America (pro-Romney group); NRA is National Rifle Association (pro-Romney); AFF is American Future Fund (pro-Romney); and Priorities is Priorities USA Action (pro-Obama Super PAC).

Hottest Markets for the week 10/8-10/14 Hottest Markets for the week 9/24-9/30
1. Orlando, FL (Obama 1600, Romney1600, ROF 775, Priorities 630, ROF 215)
2. Norfolk VA (Romney 1500, Obama 1300, ROF1200, Priorities 350, NRA 300)
3. Cleveland, OH (Romney 1500, Obama 1500, AmCrossroads 1200, Priorities 400)
4. Denver, CO (Romney 1500, Obama 1500, AmCrossroads 1200, Priorities 300)
5. Toledo, OH (Romney 1500, Obama 1500, AmCrossroads 1100, Priorities 300, NRA 250)
6. Des Moines, IA (Romney 1500, Obama 1300, ROF 1000, Priorities 350, American Future Fund 360)
7. Roanoke, VA (Romney 1500, ROF 1500, Obama 750, Priorities 300, NRA 400)
8. Cedar Rapids, IA (Romney 1500, Obama 1300, ROF 780, American Future Fund 415, Priorities 400)
9. Green Bay, WI (Romney 1500, ROF 1500, Obama 500, Priorities 500, NRA 400)
10. Tampa, FL (Romney 1,500, Obama 1500, ROF 675, NRA 250)
1. Madison, WI: Obama 1540, Restore 1480, Romney 940, Priorities USA 860
2. Orlando, FL: Obama 1700, Romney 1240, AJS 890, Crossroads 620, Priorities 250
3. Cleveland, OH: Romney 1540, Obama 1500, AJS 710, Priorities 440, Crossroads 400
4. Tampa, St. Pete, FL: Obama 1710, Romney 1300, AJS 670, Crossroads 480, Priorities 280
5. Washington, DC: Obama 1800, Romney 1500, AJS 570, Crossroads 250
6. Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA: Romney 1500, Obama 1340, AJS 670, Crossroads 530
7. Norfolk-Portsmouth, VA: Obama 1450, Romney 1440, AJS 730, Crossroads 215, Priorities 200
8. Dayton, OH: Romney 1540, Obama 1390, Crossroads 570, AJS 360
9. Richmond-Petersburg, VA: Romney 1475, Obama 1360, AJS 490, Crossroads 400, Priorities 230
10. Toledo, OH: Romney 1500/Obama 1110, AJS 680, Crossroads 270, Priorities 330

MSNBC takeaways:

No takeaways provided but away from the top ten, they do write-up an appropriately concerning story about potential ad spending mismanagement.  I’ll be curious to see how this washes out after the election because based on these reports, it really does look like amateur hour:

If Obama ends up winning the presidential contest, it could very well come down to this: Team Obama has a tactical advantage over Team Romney, and that’s especially true when it comes to advertising strategy. Politico has this example: “Voters in Columbus, Ohio, saw 30-second television ads for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney while watching ‘Wheel of Fortune’ on their CBS affiliate over three days in September. For Obama’s team, the order per spot cost $500. For Romney’s, the price tag on the order was more than five times steeper at $2,800 per ad.” What’s going on here? Politico explains, “Romney places his commercials on a week-to-week basis, rather than booking time well in advance, and typically pays more so that his ads don’t get preempted and to spare his campaign the hassle of haggling over time as prices rise.” Folks, this is the equivalent of an NFL team — in terms of tactics and ad-buying strategy — going up against a high school team. And here’s another example we’ve heard: For weeks, the Obama campaign has been hammering Romney on the “Big 10 Network.” Only until recently has the Romney campaign also decided to advertise on the channel, about five weeks AFTER the start of football season. In a close race, the little things matter.

Inside the Rebel Alliance Base — Must Read

While Chicago continues to construct it’s new and improved Death Star (the super duper secret Project Narwhal to micro-target the universe), Guy Benson at Townhall.com sat down with Team Romney and its rag-tag band of rebels tucked away in Boston:

Behind the façade of a nondescript building in Beantown’s north end, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign headquarters is buzzing with activity…The campaign is accelerating into a full sprint as the 2012 presidential race enters its final leg. Fewer than 50 days remain. More than 400 Romney staffers are manning Boston battle stations during this electoral home stretch, more than double the manpower the campaign boasted as the primary season petered out in the spring. The third floor is home to the campaign’s brain trust, where high-ranking aides are hunkering down for seven weeks that will paradoxically feel interminable, yet will be over in a flash…In an exclusive discussion with Townhall, a cluster of top Romney campaign rainmakers offer frank assessments of the current state of play and attempt to address those very questions.

Asked about rumors that Ohio is in danger of falling off the map for Romney, he shakes his head. “I’m going to push back really hard on that Ohio stuff,” he says. “There is absolutely nothing we’ve seen that has showed Ohio is remotely out of reach.” The campaign’s polling guru, Neil Newhouse, isn’t as delicate. “I’ve seen every single poll out of Ohio. My firm is also [polling] the Senate race out there. It’s baloney. I’d use stronger language if [Townhall] weren’t a family publication.”

Karl Rove’s 3-2-1 Model — although not Romney’s strategy, the top campaign brass entertain that template to discuss the Battlegrounds:

Under [Rove’s calculus] Romney would have to flip six states from blue to red to win the presidency. Of the first three – Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia – the campaign is most concerned with the Old Dominion State. “Virginia is very competitive,” Newhouse says, “I’m not going to make any news there.”

Bullish on Florida

“I feel pretty bullish on Florida,” Beeson says. “Obama’s issue metrics are really weak there, on unemployment and on foreclosures.” He also name-checks two key surrogates who will help limit Obama’s advantage among Hispanic voters in the Sunshine State: Senator Marco Rubio, “who is extremely effective all around the state, and especially down in Miami Dade” county, and Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno, who is an asset with the large Puerto Rican population along central Florida’s I-4 corridor. “Florida was a turnaround state for us in the primaries because of our turnout operation,” Newhouse recalls. “We feel really good about our ground operation in Florida.”

Ohio knife fight

Ohio is a separate beast. Both Beeson and Newhouse insist that people writing Romney off in the Buckeye State are far off base, but concede that there’s work to be done. It’s not an easy state, they say, but the campaign is devoting a special effort to winning it. “Ohio is going to be a knife fight until the very end. It’s that simple” Beeson intones. “Low single-digits, and a battle” Newhouse says flatly.

One

If Romney manages to win those first five states, the final piece of Rove’s puzzle is “one.” One additional state — any additional state — to put the GOP ticket over the top. Beeson brands this part of the conversation “fun,” eagerly pointing to a large US map on a wall perpendicular to his desk.

Iowa in focus: polls show a virtual tie. “Iowa launched [Obama] in 2008, but the thrill is gone. He’s been camping out in Iowa for a reason,” Beeson says. “And he didn’t move the numbers there,” Newhouse adds, finishing Beeson’s sentence…Iowans have an acute intolerance for debt, a topic Romney ads have hammered in the Hawkeye State.

The rest

Colorado, Wisconsin, Nevada: Cautious optimism (“rosier’)

  • Beeson circles back to his home state of Colorado. “We’re doing pretty damn well, all things considered,” he says. “It’s legitimately a one point race. It’s going to come down to [Denver’s] collar suburbs.” He rattles them off, pointing at the laminated map.

New Hampshire, Michigan, Pennsylvania:  heavy lifting needed

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Karl Rove’s “3-2-1” Strategy for Romney in the Battlegrounds

One of the great games of election season is the electoral math machinations campaign strategists do piecing together the easiest coalition of states to get their preferred candidate to the magical 270 electoral votes needed to secure the White House.  In some ways that is the basis of this blog since my designated Battleground states are the ones that tip either candidate over the 270 threshold.  Today Karl Rove outlines his “3-2-1” path to victory for Mitt Romney by first carrying the states John McCain won in 2008 (while regaining Nebraska’s second district) which all appear likely — this totals 173 electoral votes. He then dives into the specifics behind 3-2-1:

Mr. Romney’s victory road starts with “3”—as in Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia, a trio of historically Republican states (that total 39 electoral votes).

  • Indiana is a GOP lock, North Carolina is strongly trending GOP (Romney +8 recently) and Virginia will be a Battleground to the end

Next up is “2”—as in Florida and Ohio (and their 47 electoral votes). Both were close in 2008—a 2.8% margin for Mr. Obama in the former and 4.6% in the latter.

  • Both will remain Battlegrounds for the entirety of the election but Rove argues that state demographics in both are trending Romney’s way

Which brings us to “1.” Mr. Romney then needs one more state—any state—and the White House is his.

  • Romney would then clear the magical 270 should he win any of 8 available contested states: New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, or Iowa

I think the great takeaway from the Rove piece is the relative ease with which Mitt Romney can piece together the 270 votes while the President has to defend an awful lot of turf should only a handful of GOP-trending states flip. For months the media peddled the “inevitability” of an Obama re-election when objective watchers knew better.  Now the math is out there for everyone to see and at best the President is in a dogfight and probably more likely is no longer even the favorite.