Archive for December 2004

Comparing the effectiveness of the presidential campaigns

The Washington Post has a good article today comparing how the two campaigns spent there money and who got more bang for their buck.

In the most expensive presidential contest in the nation’s history, John F. Kerry and his Democratic supporters nearly matched President Bush and the Republicans, who outspent them by just $60 million, $1.14 billion to $1.08 billion.
But despite their fundraising success, Democrats simply did not spend their money as effectively as Bush….
In a $2.2 billion election, two relatively small expenditures by Bush and his allies stand out for their impact: the $546,000 ad buy by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the Bush campaign’s $3.25 million contract with the firm TargetPoint Consulting. The first portrayed Kerry in unrelentingly negative terms, permanently damaging him, while the second produced dramatic innovations in direct mail and voter technology, enabling Bush to identify and target potential voters with pinpoint precision.

A supposed strategic advantage for the Democrats — massive support from well-endowed independent groups — turned out to have an inherent flaw: The groups’ legally required independence left them with a message out of harmony with the Kerry campaign.

Of all the money spent on television advertising for the Democratic nominee, Kerry’s campaign controlled 62 percent, according to spending totals analyzed by The Washington Post. The rest was spent on ads whose content or placement could not be coordinated with the campaign. The Bush campaign controlled 83 percent of the money spent on its behalf, giving it far more control over when and how it advertised.

The 2002 elections, along with the Kentucky and Mississippi gubernatorial contests the following year, became testing grounds for the Republican effort to mobilize supporters. Designed to get base voters to the polls, it became known as the “72 Hour Project,” whose cost Republican officials refused to disclose but is estimated by sources to have been in the $200 million range.

Dowd estimated that, in part through the work of TargetPoint and other research, the Bush campaign and the RNC were able to “quadruple the number” of Republican voters who could be targeted through direct mail, phone banks and knocking on doors.
Democrats had access to similar data files. But the Bush campaign and the RNC were able to make far better use of the data because they had the time and money to conduct repeated field tests in the 2002 and 2003 elections, to finance advanced research on meshing databases with polling information, and to clean up and revise databases that almost invariably contained errors and omissions.

An additional Republican television commercial that significantly affected the race, according to surveys, was a positive spot financed by a second GOP 527 group, Progress for America. It invested $17 million in “Ashley’s Story,” which featured Ashley Faulkner, 11, whose mother had been killed in the attack on the World Trade Center, describing her meeting with Bush.
Overall, Kerry, the DNC and the Democratic 527s spent $344 million on ads, while Bush and the GOP counterparts spent about $289 million, much of which was disbursed in the final three months. Arguably, Republicans got more bang for their bucks.
Washington Post

There’s plenty more interesting stuff in there.

Ken Jennings back

Jeopardy’s announced a super tournament that will feature almost 150 5-time winners battling for the right to take on Ken Jennings in the finals.


If you’re looking to help the victims of the big earthquake/tsunami the Christian Science Monitor has a round-up of places where you can donate.
–Addendum– (12/29/04 – 14:31)
Amazon has so far raised over $2.15 million in donations for disaster relief.
–Update– (12/30/04 – 14:08)
Amazon’s now raised more than $5.13 million.

So wrong it hurts

The Houston Chronicle/New York Times: Ohio is the Florida of 2004.
In what kind of whacked out, screwed up version of reality can Ohio be called the Florida of 2004 when Washington had the election it had?
Let’s see.
In Ohio the President won by 118,000+ votes only to have that total lowered to 118,000+ votes by one recount.
In Washington the Governor’s race initially has a margin of only a few hundred votes which, through numerous recountings, is eventually reversed to show the other candidate winning.
Tell me, which state do you think better fits the tagline “Florida of 2004”?

The Ohio recount is over…

… and *gasp* President Bush still won. Now he just won by 118,457 votes instead of 118,775. Boy, it’s a good thing we spent more than a million dollars of taxpayer money to figure that out.

“Down with the French!”

As always, Jonah Goldberg is at his best when he’s lambasting the French.

Yes, the French throne

Reds sign Eric Milton

Who would have thought they’d be willing to put up the money for a 3 year, $25.5 million contract?

The military still supports the war

Despite a year of ferocious combat, mounting casualties and frequent deployments, support for the war in Iraq remains very high among the active-duty military, according to a Military Times Poll.
Sixty-three percent of respondents approve of the way President Bush is handling the war, and 60% remain convinced it is a war worth fighting. Support for the war is even greater among those who have served longest in the combat zone: Two-thirds of combat vets say the war is worth fighting.
But the men and women in uniform are under no illusions about how long they will be fighting in Iraq; nearly half say they expect to be there more than five years.
In addition, 87%% say they’re satisfied with their jobs and, if given the choice today, only 25% say they’d leave the service.
Compared with last year, the percentages for support for the war and job satisfaction remain essentially unchanged. – Poll shows troops in support of war


Had some issues while trying to upgrade mt-blacklist and as a result mt-blacklist no longer works. Therefore I have disabled commenting for unregistered users. If you want to comment please sign up for a free Typekey account.
–Update 12/26 00:15–
mt-blacklist is working again so I’ve reenabled commenting.
–Update 12/26 00:22–
Heh, in the 7 minutes it’s been up blacklist has blocked 11 spam attempts.

Merry Christmas!

CHARLIE BROWN: I guess I really don’t know what Christmas is all about.


Isn’t there anybody who knows what Christmas is all about?

LINUS: Sure Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.


Lights please.


And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.