Now that Kerry has decided to accept the nomination at the convention, he’ll have to live with the monetary disadvantage of having to spend the same amount of funds as Bush (only Federal money can be spent by candidates during the general election campaign), but over a month longer time.
I’ve maintained before that money is becoming overrated in these national campaigns. There’s a law of diminishing returns. You can’t expect to flood the airwaves with ads without decreasing their effectiveness. People become jaded, bored and downright irritated by the ads. If Kerry spends wisely up to the convention and then focuses on getting out the vote, he can win – and win big.
Just today at breakfast with a statewide candidate here in Virginia, the candidate told me mailers in even local races are often counterproductive. As taught to us by Chap Petersen, Steve Shannon and others, an emphasis on old fashion retail politics of walking the district can mean victory.
Now comes a report from Harvard University’s JFK School of Government that retail politics may be more effective even for national campaigns. You can’t expect to knock on every door in the nation, of course, but local campaign stops and local earned media can be more effective than TV ads, according to the study that looked at the movement in Al Gore’s numbers as they related to campaign stops.
Thanks to the Daily Kos for pointing this out.
Now we just must make sure we get out the vote. If you know of anyone who may not vote this year, please take the time to convince them to get to the polls. That may be the best service anyone can donate to the cause.