Agree Spotlight: NYC Mayor’s Race

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Voters in New York City will head to the polls today to decide who takes the next step in the campaign to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg. And, for the first time in 20 years, it looks like this historically proud liberal town is ready to put a Democrat back in City Hall.

If one of the Democratic candidates gets 40% of the vote or more, he or she advances right to the run-off and there will be no second round in the primary. Recent polls show that Bill de Blasio is the only one with a shot at reaching 40%. But if he does not reach that 40% threshold, we’ll be set for a two-week runoff campaign – and that’s when the real fun begins! Polls indicate that it is down to a three-way race for the top two spots between Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and former Comptroller Bill Thomspon.

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Do Negative Political Ads Still Work?

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It’s still Conventional Wisdom – political consultants and campaign managers default to negative political ads “because they work.” As a political consultant who grew up in the era of highly negative campaigning, I used to remind my colleagues “If you’re not attacking, you’re losing.”

That’s why I’m paying particularly close attention to the in-house Google Survey IAgreetoSee.com just completed on one aspect of political ads – believability. We asked 1,000 self-identified registered voters which kind of ads they found most accurate and, by a margin of eight to one, respondents chose positive ads over negative ads. (Although it is worth noting– “Don’t Know” was nearly the winner).

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He Said/He Said in the New York City Mayor’s Race

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At I Agree to See we loved this ad from Bill de Blasio featuring his son, Dante. We liked it for the unexpected twist, which certainly helped make it memorable from a creative perspective, and for the clearly data-driven appeal to African American voters. And we honestly just like this young man – political consultants start recruiting him right now.

Recent polls have shown de Blasio, the New York City Public Advocate, shooting to a lead, with a large part of his growth attributed to winning support from African American voters. A core part of de Blasio’s message has been his commitment to ending the controversial stop and frisk policy used by the NYPD – and his most recent ad spoke directly about that issue.

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Agreeing to Solve a Problem

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A few years back we were gathered in the Storefront Political Media “War Room” (it’s the plain old conference room during daylight hours) when we began to confront the political consultant’s abyss… Were voters still paying attention to political media?

We knew that in focus groups voters had a scary habit of calling even award-winning print “junk mail.” Sitting in these focus groups, we heard voters call carefully crafted TV spots “bathroom breaks.” And in poll after poll, in campaign after campaign, we saw that it took more money to reach “threshold”– that moment when voters actually start tuning in to the messages campaigns deliver.

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Political Rewind: 7 Most Memorable Campaign Kids

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Children have a special place in our hearts… and our campaigns. They are so sweet and innocent that it is easy to underestimate how much power a cute kid can have. Beyond melting our hearts and making us laugh, these kids remind us that they can influence presidential elections! Read more and share this blog with friends.

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Political Rewind: 9 Reasons Why You Might Have Voted for Nixon in 1972

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Dubbed “the worst president” by many, how the heck did Nixon end up carrying 49 of the 50 states winning 60.7% of the popular vote (the largest victory margin in election history) in the 1972 election? From mad peace signs to pledging to end the draft, read more about why Nixon garnered so much support in 1972.

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Disrupting Political Advertising

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The Federal Elections Commissions calculates that in the 2012 Election Cycle more than $5.2 billion was spent by federal candidates and the PACs trying to influence the outcome of these elections. That’s just federal elections. It doesn’t count state and local political campaigns from Governor to School Board.

Estimates on overall political spending vary, but low-ball calculations show that more than $10 billion was spent on American political campaigns in 2012 alone, and the reality is that the total could be in excess of $20 billion when all the “shadow spending” is included. Almost all of this astronomical total went to paid media, and most of the media money was spent on advertising on television, on the radio and through the mailbox.

No wonder most of us are so sick of political advertising.

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