In light of the Obama campaign’s highly touted ground game operation that it used as a major step to its election victory last week, UBS Financial Services Director of Floor Operations wrote today that one of the stalwarts of political campaigns — television advertising — might be nearing its end.In today’s “Cashin Comments,” he writes how “the power of television,” which had been clear since 1960, had been weakened by a 2012 campaign that didn’t see its effects:
It was roundly believed that all you had to do was raise the most money so you could buy more TV ads and you could win. Recall the enormous backlash and complaint brought on by the recent Supreme Court decision to equate donations with free speech. They had sold the country out to the monied big interests.
This year we saw hundreds and hundreds of million dollars spent by the special interests on both sides of the political fence. A huge proportion went to TV advertising, especially in the so-called swing states. The return was virtually zero. Voter turnout for both the Republicans and Democratic candidates were down from four years ago. The campaign swung on a targeted ground game that keyed in on select voter groups and had nothing to do with TV advertising.
We doubt that TV will see that kind of concentration again. In fact, TV advertising in general may be reassessed and evaluated based on this election. Social media and other message vehicles may benefit.
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