Posts tagged with "Barack Obama"

Parallel universes: Dems raising $75 million to go head-to-head with GOP on social media

November 5, 2019

Two can play that game: A progressive organization called Acronym is plunging into the presidential campaign—revealing plans to spend $75 million on digital advertising that will be used to counterbalance and neutralize President Donald Trump’s early spending advantage in key 2020 battleground states, The New York Times reported on November 4.

And such a rampart may well be needed: Trump has spent more than $26 million so far nationally just on Facebook and Google, the news outlet says. That’s more than the four top-polling Democrats—Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg—have spent in total on those platforms.

Since its creation as a nonprofit group dedicated to building power and digital infrastructure for the progressive movement in March 2017, Acronym claims to have “run dozens of targeted media programs to educate, inspire, register, and mobilize voters,” as well as to have “worked with dozens of partners to accelerate their advocacy programs and investments.”

In the 2018 cycle, Acronym developed new digital tools and strategies to encourage voters to register to vote and show up at the polls on Election Day. Through these programs, Acronym and its affiliated political action committee, Pacronym, claim to have helped elect 65 progressive candidates across the country.

Photo source: AcronymAnd in January 2019, the group launched Shadow, a technology company focused on building accessible, user-centered products to enable progressive organizers to run smarter campaigns

Political organizers and pundits agree that such an effort is necessary. “The gun on this general election does not start when we have a nominee; it started months ago,” said David Plouffe, who managed Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and was a key adviser to him in 2012, and who recently joined Acronym’s board. ”If the things that need to happen don’t happen in these battleground states between now and May or June, our nominee will never have time to catch up.“

In an interview with the Times, Plouffe and Tara McGowan, the founder and chief executive of Acronym, said their digital campaign would kick off immediately, with a heavy focus on shaping how the public views Trump and the Democratic Party during the primary season, well before a nominee emerges.

“Our nominee is going to be broke, tired, have to pull together the party; and turn around on a dime and run a completely different race for a completely different audience,” Plouffe said.

“There is an enormous amount of danger between now and then,” he added. “If the hole is too steep to dig out of, they’re not going to win.”

The campaign, which the organization is calling “Four is Enough,” will focus initially on key swing states: Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. One state that is historically a battleground was notably missing from the initial list: Florida.

The effort will feature advertisements across multiple digital platforms, including Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Hulu, and Pandora. There will be original content, such as videos and animations, as well as boosting local news coverage that portrays Trump, his administration,and his agenda in a harsh light.

McGowan told the news outlet that for months her group had been raising the alarm about the president’s early online spending advantage.

“It started to feel as though we were really screaming into the abyss,” she said. So

McGowan told the Times that the group had already raised approximately 40% of the planned $75 million budget. She noted that Plouffe has joined as both a political adviser and to help raise funds. The spending will be made across two groups, Acronym, which is a nonprofit that does not disclose its donors, and Pacronym, a political action committee, which does. (The group’s winking moniker is a poke at the frequent practice of settling on a meaningful series of words to form an acronym for a nonprofit; they have skipped that alphabet-soup step entirely.)

“We’re absolutely, as a party, not doing enough and I don’t know that $75 million is enough,” McGowan said. “We can’t afford to not do this work right now.” Of the fact that some of her group’s donors would remain undisclosed, she said, “We have to play on the field that exists,” noting that Trump is aided by such funds, as well.

Research contact: @nytimes

Obama aides say Beto is ‘heir’ to Barack

December 4, 2018

It’s “déjà vu all over again,” for President Barack Obama’s former aides—who are saying that Beto O’Rourke’s campaign against Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the midterms gave them flashbacks to their own candidate’s precocious political rise, according to a December 2 report by NBC News.

Indeed, according to the network news outlet, the closely fought campaign by the charismatic and youthful Democratic white congressman—who serves Texas’ 16th District— has catapulted him to the position of unlikely heir to the first black president’s “hope and change” mantle.

Obama, himself, said as much, CNN reported, at an event in Chicago in late November, noting, “What I like most about his race was that it didn’t feel constantly poll-tested. It felt as if he based his statements and his positions on what he believed. And that, you’d like to think, is normally how things work. Sadly, it’s not.”

Already, some of #44’s former political lieutenants have been publicly encouraging O’Rourke to consider a 2020 presidential bid; while privately counseling him on what to expect, should he jump in.

And it looks as if he’s willing: O’Rourke said on November 26  that he would prefer to finish his congressional term January 3 before deciding what’s next. But that’s a far cry from repeatedly saying during the Senate campaign that he had no White House aspirations whatsoever.

In O’Rourke, NBC News reported, Obama veterans see not only an inspiring political celebrity, but, like Obama, a tactical innovator who eschewed the political industrial complex of pollsters and consultants; and used technology in new ways to connect directly with supporters and multiply the force of his fundraising and ground game.

“The reason I was able to make a connection with a sizable portion of the country was because people had a sense that I said what I meant,” Obama told his former strategist David Axelrod during an interview last week, adding that O’Rourke has that same quality.

O’Rourke has received invitations to speak to Democratic groups in early presidential states like Iowa and New Hampshire, but has yet to accept them,  a former senior adviser to his campaign told the network.

“We’ve had a lot of former Obama alumni saying: ‘If we can be helpful as you think about this, let us know. If you want our perspective on what it’s like to run a national campaign, let us know,'” said the former O’Rourke aide, who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity.

And a new group, co-founded by a former Obama field organizer, has been created to attempt to draft O’Rourke into the presidential race. “Beto has a special ability—like President Obama did—to make people believe in the best version of America,” Lauren Pardi, who worked on Obama’s campaign in New Hampshire, told the network news outlet.

It may not be reaching too far to predict that, along with having the same initials in their names—Barack O’Bama, Beto O’Rourke—they may enjoy the same political destiny.

Research contact: @aseitzwald

Barack Obama edges out Donald Trump as most admired man

January 2, 2018

Americans once again have named Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as the man and woman they admire most in the world, as they have for the past 10 years.

The pair retain their titles this year, although by much narrower margins than in the past. Obama edged out Donald Trump, 17% to 14%, while Clinton edged out Michelle Obama, 9% to 7%.

Those who placed slightly lower were not exactly “chopped liver”,” either: Rounding out the top five for men were Pope Francis, Reverend Billy Graham and Elon Musk.

The top five for women also included  Oprah Winfrey, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel.

The 2017 Gallup Poll, conducted early in December, marks the 16th consecutive year in which Clinton has been named the most-admired woman. She has held the title 22 times in total—more than anyone else.

Eleanor Roosevelt is second, with 13 wins. Obama has now been named the most admired man ten times; trailing only Dwight Eisenhower, who earned the distinction 12 times. Obama won all eight years he was president, plus 2008—the year he was first elected-—and this year, his first as a former president.

One-quarter of Americans cannot name a man or a woman whom they admire most. Nine percent named a relative or friend as the most admired man, and 13% did the same for the most admired woman.

As would be expected for a Republican president, Trump won handily among Republicans: 35% named him as the man they admired most, with only 1% naming Obama

Research contact:  datainquiry@gallup.com