Christopher Ruddy would like you to think he’s the most important person in the Republican primary.
And he might be correct.
A New York Times article discusses the far flung power of the Newsmax CEO, concluding that Ruddy’s ability to reach the conservative set is essential for presidential hopefuls.
Newsmax prints a magazine that boasts a paid circulation of 230,000 and has a massive email list that includes 3.2 million names. Virtually every candidate or would-be candidate — from Michele Bachmann and Donald Trump to Jon Huntsman— have visited or plan to visit the company’s Florida office. The article reports that 55% per cent of the magazine’s subscribers make political donations with the average being almost $2,400.
The most interesting part of the article, however, is Ruddy’s business model. He’ll happily leverage his company’s email list to anyone with enough cash.
Newsmax’s success — it brought in $52 million in revenue last year, up from $34 million the year before — in large part lies in the way Mr. Ruddy has leveraged his politically plugged-in, over-50 audience. Want to reach potential donors directly in their in-boxes? For around $30,000, political campaigns can rent Newsmax’s list, giving them in effect a direct conduit to a large swath of the Republican base. Newsmax will then send “special messages” from sponsors like Mrs. Bachmann and Rand Paul that allow recipients to donate directly to a candidate’s campaign committee.
According to the Times: “We’re a business,” he said unapologetically, “not an ideology.”
He also might be the man who decides who runs against President Barack Obama.
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