The Trump campaign is pulling advertising across the country in an effort to save as much cash for the final stretch in October.
President Donald Trump has pulled most of his advertising from TV over the past week, ceding the airwaves to Democratic rival Joe Biden, who is currently outspending him by more than 10-to-1, advertising data shows.
Though Trump has an outsized ability to command national attention, it is unusual for a White House contender to go mostly dark on TV the week after their presidential convention. The election is just over two months away and early voting will begin in September in some states.
The move comes as Trump’s campaign has burned through money almost as fast as it has taken it in. And after Biden drastically narrowed what was once an overwhelming cash advantage enjoyed by the president, campaign officials have acknowledged they were trying to conserve money.
That’s allowed Biden an opportunity to communicate an unfiltered message to voters without competing advertising.
During the month of August, Biden doubled what Trump spent, dropping about $80 million in states that included key battlegrounds such as Wisconsin, Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan, according to data from the ad tracking firm Kantar/CMAG.
Trump’s limited spending targeted some of those states, but it was also directed to places like Iowa and Montana, which he won handily in 2016. This week he is spending about $1.6 million to Biden’s $18.3 million. Most of Trump’s ads are placed on Fox News Channel and CNN, as well as a smattering that will run in New Mexico and Washington, D.C., the data shows.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller said Monday that the campaign will be going back up on the air this week. Yet data from Kantar/CMAG shows it does not have an increase in advertising booked until Sept. 8.
“We have over $200 million worth of TV ads that are reserved (from) Labor Day until Election Day,” Miller said. “We’re speaking with voters in states as they’re starting to come online.”
So it could be that the Trumpies are just taking the week off before they start their main offensive after Labor Day. Of course, since Trump controls the federal government, he pretty much has unlimited resources, like $250 million for a new "government public service campaign" on COVID-19.
As the presidential election fast approaches, the Department of Health and Human Services is bidding out a more than $250 million contract to a communications firm as it seeks to “defeat despair and inspire hope” about the coronavirus pandemic, according to an internal HHS document obtained by POLITICO.
Several weeks ago, the department sent out to a number of communications firms a “performance work statement,” which lays out what work will be expected of the winning firm. The document says that the vast majority of the money will be spent from now until January.
The document also lists the goals of the contract: “defeat despair and inspire hope, sharing best practices for businesses to operate in the new normal and instill confidence to return to work and restart the economy,” build a “coalition of spokespeople” around the country, provide important public health, therapeutic and vaccine information as the country reopens, and give Americans information on the phases of reopening.
“By harnessing the power of traditional, digital and social media, the sports and entertainment industries, public health associations, and other creative partners to deliver important public health and economic information the administration can defeat despair, inspire hope and achieve national recovery,” the document also says.
The contract comes as the administration’s health agencies face growing questions about their independence in recent weeks. The head of the Food and Drug Administration, Stephen Hahn, admitted that he overstated the benefits of convalescent plasma at a news conference last week with President Donald Trump, and health officials have flip-flopped on key warnings about the virus, including the value of masks to protect Americans.
The FDA also faces a potential key decision in the coming few months: whether to give emergency authorization for a coronavirus vaccine. Polls show that nearly a fifth of adults would refuse a coronavirus vaccine if one were available, in some cases over fears that any approval would be motivated by politics rather than science. Just 14 percent of voters would be more likely to take a vaccine recommended by Trump, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll last month.
So odd how this "inspiring hope" campaign pushing Americans to "reopen the economy" just happens to coincide with 1) Trump's largest political liability currently with 185,000 COVID-19 fatalities and rising and 2) the Trump regime's message at the convention that Trump has done a "fantastic" job handling the pandemic.
Don't take Trump's word for it, take the word of the experts, who happen to be working for Trump (and not the American people.)
Point is, Just because Trump is retooling his message this week, doesn't mean the Firehose of Lies™ isn't being primed to spew after Labor Day.