In a press release today Greg Fischer’s U.S. Senate campaign said he gave his campaign (loaned?) $510,000 and only raised $500,000 during the first quarter of 2008. The campaign has long touted that it will have enough money be successful by doing the following:
- Effectively build name I.D. up from the margin of error where it currently sits (a minimum of a 36 point jump in 5-6 weeks)
- Spread a positive message and platform
- Attack Bruce Lunsford often and deeply enough to politically wound him
- Pay all campaign staff, consultants, media buyers and television stations
All great ambitions, but they’re just that– ambition. Since the campaign has only taken in a million dollars, there’s just about nothing it can do but begin working on an exit strategy. Remember the Miller-Maze campaign? Same amount of cash, same amount of time, same name I.D. Remember Steve Henry? He allegedly gave his campaign $500k (he never proved it and his media buyer was suspicious) to do what Fischer is hoping to do and where’d it get him?
Let’s break things down:
Fischer has $1 million. Let’s say he only has five campaign staffers (it’s a U.S. Senate race, that’s a super-low estimate) who only get paid $5,000 per month. That’s $25K/mo for the past 4 months. $100K spent. $900K remaining. Media strategy and production is going to easily be $50K for so-so quality and value. $850K remaining. A media buyer is going to take a 15% or so commission at minimum so that’s $130K. $720K remaining for actual airtime.
There are at least 9 media markets that need to be absolutely saturated beginning a few weeks ago in order to develop name I.D. and discredit an opponent. Let’s be generous and say he actually has $720K on-hand to buy ads. Television, radio, print, direct mail. You do the math. How effective can the campaign be at accomplishing what they hope to accomplish?
Love the truth or hate the truth, it’s an impossibility. There’s no way to battle an opponent with unlimited funds who can strike back in each and every way at a moment’s notice. If it were possible, Andrew Horne (who raised nearly $100k in just a couple weeks’ time) would still be in the race.