"The American people do not panic," Biden said. "Trump panicked."
President Donald Trump is being vastly outspent by Joe Biden in television advertising in the general election battleground states and elsewhere, with the former vice president focusing overwhelmingly on the coronavirus as millions of Americans across the country begin casting early votes.Biden has maintained a nearly 2-to-1 advantage on the airwaves for months. His dominance is most pronounced in three critical swing states -- Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- where he spent about $53 million to Trump's $17 million over the past month, with ads assailing the president's handling of the economy and taxes as well as the virus, according to data from Advertising Analytics, an ad tracking firm.In Pennsylvania alone, Biden ran 38 different ads during a single week this month, a sign of how comprehensive his effort there has been.The president's ad strategy, in turn, reflects the challenges facing both his campaign finances and Electoral College map. He has recently scaled back advertising in battleground states like Ohio and Iowa and, until this past week, slashed ads in Michigan and Wisconsin, despite being behind in polls. And Trump is having to divert resources to hold onto Republican-leaning states like Arizona and Georgia.Trump spent less on ads in 2016, too, and still went on to capture critical states and prevail over Hillary Clinton. But back then he relied heavily on huge rallies and live cable 遞四方香港查詢 coverage to get his message out, and he got extensive airtime for his attacks on Clinton. This time around, his rallies have been fewer and smaller because of the pandemic and his own virus infection; the events have gotten less cable coverage; and he has had a hard time making attacks stick on Biden.In many ways, the advertising picture reveals how the pandemic has upended the 2020 race. With in-person campaigning sharply limited, the traditional advantages built by a ground game in battleground states have largely been replaced by the air cover provided by advertising. More than $1.5 billion has been spent on the presidential race alone; by contrast, $496 million was spent on ads in just the presidential race by this point in the 2016 race.Onscreen, voters are inundated with imagery of the pandemic -- hazmat suits and shuttered businesses -- as well as scenes from protests, both peaceful and violent.Roughly 80% of the Trump campaign's ads have been either negative or what is called a contrast ad, a mix of criticism of the opponent and self-promotion. Of those, 62% were all-out attacks. For Biden, about 60% of campaign ads have been negative or contrast, with just 7% outright negative.This inundation can be dizzying to viewers in swing states. In Phoenix, during the Spanish language broadcast of "Exatlon," a popular reality TV show, a Biden ad that hails Sen. Kamala Harris' record with the Latino community and that shows her peacefully marching in the streets is followed by a Trump ad denouncing Biden as "radical," with scenes of violent clashes from protests. "Exatlon" runs an average of 15 ads from the Trump or Biden campaigns per broadcast.In Philadelphia, fans of "Judge Judy" had to sit through an average of five political ads per half-hour of broadcast, with the Biden and Trump campaigns offering dueling arguments on criminal justice reform.The increasingly lopsided nature of the TV ad wars is part of an overall narrative that shows a persistent, if slight, advantage for the former vice president. Biden has built steady, single-digit leads in battleground polls with a campaign message of resolve and a pledge to control the pandemic -- points reflected in his ads. Trump, who has repeatedly shifted his messaging, has played more defense on the airwaves.The result is a reversal of fortunes in a campaign where it seemed Trump had built an unstoppable cash machine early on and, in the words of his former campaign manager, had a "death star" of political advertising ready for the final push. Having been outspent by roughly $124 million on the airwaves since May, Trump has largely ceded the ad wars to Biden."The candidates almost always try to match what their opponent is doing because it's like an arms race," said Lynn Vavreck, a politics professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. "They understand that allowing them to get ahead has consequences."For months, the Trump campaign held a significant advantage on digital advertising, although recently the Biden campaign has essentially matched the Trump footprint online, reaching a rough parity on Google and Facebook over the past 30 days, at about $50 million on the platforms for each campaign.Of course, the overall effectiveness of political advertising varies widely from race to race, and it is likely to have less impact in winning over voters when an electorate is exceptionally polarized, as it is in 2020. But given the slowdown of normal operations, campaigns have relied on television ads this cycle to simply remain in the daily conversation.Both campaigns are spending by far the most money and airing the most ads in Florida. It is a must-win for Trump; if Biden prevails there, political strategists believe, it would signal a clear path to victory. Biden has spent about $14 million more on broadcast television and cable ads there than Trump. The latest polling average calculated by The New York Times' Upshot shows Biden with a 4-point advantage.In Florida, perhaps no markets offer a greater indication of the two campaigns' strategies than Miami-Fort Lauderdale, home to Biden's biggest base of support in the state, and the Tampa-St. Petersburg media market, which includes Pinellas County, a populous area that switched from blue to red in 2016.Tampa is one of the few markets where Trump has been outspending Biden over the past 30 days, as his campaign tries to hold on to support with a largely negative campaign focused on Biden's tax proposals.But in Miami, Biden is the dominant force on the airwaves. Democratic operatives view their path to winning Florida through a huge turnout in Miami, the state's most diverse city, where Democrats have a huge advantage.Biden has been airing two biographical spots -- one in Spanish and one in English, each with near-equal money behind them -- that focus on his personal history benefiting from health care, and his fights to expand that access through the Affordable Care Act."That had extraordinary potency in 2018," said Roy Temple, a Democratic ad maker, referring to the health care ads and messaging that helped Democrats take back the House two years ago. "If anything, COVID added to the potency of that because you've got literally millions of people who now have a new preexisting condition."But while the Biden campaign is looking to Florida for a knockout punch, it has also steadily been landing body blows in the former "blue wall" states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin that Trump won in 2016.Take Milwaukee, where Biden has been owning the airwaves at a nearly 5-to-1 spending advantage over the past 30 days. While it is the Democratic anchor of the state and where Biden needs to turn out a large part of his base, the Milwaukee media market includes Kenosha and Racine, two of the 10 biggest counties in the state and ones that Trump flipped to red in 2016.Now, voters in the two counties, as well as in Milwaukee, have seen an average of 139 Biden ads each day for the past week, and just 17 Trump ads. The Biden campaign has been running a mix of ads that are heavy on personal biography and that contrast his vision for controlling the pandemic with Trump's handling of the virus."When you get a candidate in Biden's position, you no longer are in a situation where you really are trying to knock the other guy down," said Tad Devine, a Democratic ad strategist who ran the ad campaigns of both John Kerry and Al Gore. "You are in a situation where you must offer fundamental reassurance."In Detroit and Philadelphia, the ad disparity is similarly stark, with Biden more than doubling Trump's spending in both cities. The Biden campaign has been making an effort to energize Black voters, with ads featuring actor Samuel L. Jackson and young Black millennials from Flint, Michigan, discussing the importance of voting.But while the traditional swing states occupy most of the attention, Devine says the Biden campaign's dominance in Arizona is among the biggest indicators of his campaign's strength."If you can move into the other guy's terrain and force them either to defend it or actually make a play to take it away from them," Devine said, "that's the single most aggressive play there is in a presidential campaign -- to move against an opponent in turf that belongs to them."The Biden campaign's large investment in Arizona has forced the Trump campaign to move some money around as well, adding $5.7 million more to its ad reservations in Arizona since Aug. 30.Forcing the Trump campaign to spend more in Arizona, a Republican state that hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1996, is most likely a factor that has forced the campaign to draw down its advertising in states like Ohio and Iowa, two traditional battleground states that the campaign won handily in 2016 and is hoping to win again this year.But it has also meant that the Trump campaign has significantly reduced spending in Minnesota, a traditionally blue state that Republicans had hoped would be in play in 2020. Biden has had double-digit leads in most polls there.The Trump campaign claims that all of its ad decisions have been strategic and not budget-forced."Television ads are a small piece of the voter outreach puzzle and the Trump campaign has perfected the art of utilizing them in the most strategic, surgical way possible," said Samantha Zager, the deputy press secretary for the Trump campaign. "It makes no sense to run TV ads in states we know we're going to win, and in other states, they're a useful tool to reach the right voters with the right message."The Trump campaign has been using a more counterintuitive way to try to maximize its ad spends in particularly expensive states like North Carolina, Arizona and Michigan, with a national buy -- purchasing an ad on a national network that airs in every state. While competitive Senate races help drive up the cost per ad in a local market, in some states a national buy ends up being cheaper.The Trump campaign is also spending directly on local cable networks that have high viewership among more rural voters, such as RFD-TV, WGN-TV and the Weather Channel, and spending heavily on evangelical and conservative radio stations.Perhaps to allay concerns about the advertising spending gap, Bill Stepien, the Trump campaign manager, released a memo in September saying that the media coverage of the president's travel and campaigning was equal to $40.1 million of broadcast airtime.For the Biden campaign, having an enormous ad campaign running across many states reflects the many paths it sees to the White House."We started in a broader swath of states, including two that Democrats have not won in recent cycles, because we see a lot of paths to 270," said Patrick Bonsignore, director of paid media for the Biden campaign. "We've gone into new states because our paths to 270 are increasing."But as the end of the race draws near and more people begin to vote, some political experts say the president is running out of time to make up his messaging gap."The best mobilizer is message," said Ken Goldstein, a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco. "Advertising can't matter when everyone has made up their mind. And some people have not only made up their mind but cast their vote."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
Samantha Kacmarik, a Latina college student in Las Vegas, said that four years ago, she had viewed Hillary Clinton as part of a corrupt political establishment.Flowers Forever, a Black transgender music producer in Milwaukee, said she had thought Clinton wouldn't change anything for the better.And Thomas Moline, a white retired garbageman in Minneapolis, said he simply hadn't trusted her.None of them voted for Clinton. All of them plan to vote for Joe Biden."I knew early that Trump definitely wasn't the guy for me," recalled Moline, an independent. But when it came to Clinton, "I guess I had a bad taste in my mouth from her husband's eight years in office." He voted for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, a decision he regrets, and he feels at ease backing Biden."I identify more with Biden -- whether that's being a male chauvinist or whatever you want to call me," he said.The point seems almost too obvious to note: Biden is not Clinton. Yet for many Democrats and independents who sat out 2016, voted for third-party candidates or backed Donald Trump, it is a rationale for their vote that comes up repeatedly: Biden is more acceptable to them than Clinton was, in ways large and small, personal and political, sexist and not -- and those differences help them feel more comfortable voting for the Democratic nominee this time around.Biden also benefits, of course, from the intense desire among Democrats to get Trump out of office. And a majority of voters give the president low marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the dominant issue of the race. But a key distinction between 2020 and 2016 is that, four years ago, the race came down to two of the most disliked and polarizing candidates in American history, and one of them also faced obstacles that came with being a barrier-breaking woman.Biden now leads Trump in many public polls by bigger margins than Clinton had in 2016. In private polling and focus groups, voters express more positive views of Biden than of Clinton, though they know far less about his decades in political office, according to strategists affiliated with both Democrats' campaigns.Interviews with dozens of voters, union members and Democratic strategists reveal a party embracing Biden -- a 77-year-old white man -- as a familiar political pitch, though some bristled at what they saw as the gender bias in that assessment."The Republicans did a fantastic job of making Hillary Clinton seem like the devil for the last 20-plus years, so she was a hard sell," said Aaron Stearns, the Democratic chair in Warren County in northwestern Pennsylvania. "It's just a lot easier with Joe Biden because he's a guy and he's an old white guy. I hate saying that, but it's the truth."Even as Biden proposes a significantly bigger role for government than Clinton did four years ago, some voters view the Democratic nominee as more moderate compared with how they saw her. And they don't see him as being as divisive a political figure as they did Clinton, despite Biden's long record of legislative battles."I didn't like Hillary. I felt that she was a fraud, basically, lying and conniving," said Sarah Brown, 27, of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, who regrets her 2016 vote for Trump and plans to vote for Biden. "I'm not a superbig fan of him, either, but the two options -- I guess it's the lesser evil."Biden leads Trump, 49% to 19%, among likely voters who backed third-party candidates in 2016, according to recent polling of battleground states by The New York Times and Siena College. Among registered voters who sat out the 2016 election, Biden leads by 9 percentage points, the polls found.At times, Biden has been notably critical of his party's 2016 nominee, arguing that she lacked "vision" and failed to connect with working-class voters and openly relitigating what he saw as Clinton's debate missteps.He has also noted "unfair" sexism against her, adding at an event in Iowa, "That's not going to happen with me."Clinton, too, has reflected on how she was perceived during the race."You should also be prepared for the slights, the efforts to diminish you -- you personally, you as a woman," she advised Sen. Kamala Harris on Clinton's podcast before the vice presidential debate.In 2016, Trump's appeal as a political leader was intriguing to many voters, given that he was an outsider and that few expected him to win, while Clinton was a Washington veteran."Always, institutionally, people want to get change," said former Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, a close friend of the Clintons. "Trump was anti-establishment, anti-swamp. They now have seen the horror that this man has done to our country."Yet, even as votes are being cast in 2020, Democrats still worry about some of the reasons for their loss in 2016.Clinton's campaign was criticized over its ground game in some battleground states; Biden's campaign avoided direct contact with voters for months. Clinton was attacked for keeping a lighter schedule than Trump at times; Biden made his first visit of the year to Wisconsin in September.But Biden has never been torn down like Clinton, who had faced more than two decades of unrelenting GOP attacks by the time she ran.Internal polling conducted for the Bernie Sanders campaign found that Biden had a reservoir of goodwill that Clinton did not possess."He was a hard guy to hit," said Ben Tulchin, Sanders' pollster. "There's not a lot of passion for him, but they like him."Republicans, too, have found Biden to be a much tougher target. Even now, four years after she last ran for any office, Clinton has appeared in more Republican ads attacking down-ballot Democratic candidates than has Biden, according to data compiled by Advertising Analytics. In the final weeks of his campaign, Trump has tried to reignite controversy over Clinton's emails, blasting out fundraising requests with the subject line: "HILLARY CLINTON."Accounts of focus groups conducted by the two campaigns underscore how perceptions of Biden and Clinton are shaped by voters' genders.The quality of Clinton's that emerged as the most appealing in 2016 groups was not her accomplishments but that she had set aside her own ambitions to serve in President Barack Obama's administration, according to people involved with the campaign.Winning over female voters entailed walking a particularly tortured path, former campaign aides say."She had to show more experience than they did, but not so much experience that they couldn't relate to her," said Jennifer Palmieri, communications director for Clinton's campaign. "We kept running into those conflicts in people's own heads."In focus groups conducted by the Biden campaign after he won the party nomination, voters were generally unfamiliar with his achievements but far less conflicted about him personally, strategists said."Biden didn't have as much definition as I thought he would have had in the electorate," said Steve Schale, a veteran Florida Democratic operative who is chief executive of Unite the Country, a super political action committee backing Biden. "They just see him as a nice guy."Clinton and many others believe she faced a more difficult political calculus because of her gender, indicating in a tweet after the first debate that she would have liked to tell Trump to "Shut up, man" -- as Biden did -- but had been constrained by how those attacks might have backfired against her."When you've never had a woman president, it's hard to imagine what that's going to look like," said Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily's List, an organization that seeks to elect Democratic women.Unlike Clinton, who was known as a workhorse legislator and secretary of state and projected that image, Biden spent decades cultivating a brand as just another guy riding home on the Amtrak."There's no doubt there was an element of sexism, but also there was a sense that she was looking down on people," said David Axelrod, Obama's campaign strategist. "Biden, his cultural sensibilities are different."Voters who rejected Clinton and who now back Biden present varying rationales. Midwestern union workers, most of them men, said they had found it hard to identify with Clinton, never mind picture her as president."I have more faith in Joe Biden than Hillary because I like his background, where he grew up," said Dave Clawson, the Democratic treasurer of the United Steelworkers chapter in Lorain, Ohio. "He's middle class, worked his way up. I saw her as not a very nice person. I don't know how to explain it."John Melody, a retired steelworker from South Euclid, Ohio, said he had questioned why Clinton wanted the job, attributing most of her success to her husband."I thought the girl just wanted the job because she wanted to be the boss, that's all," said Melody, 76, who often votes Democratic for president but supported the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, in 2016. "Biden's a regular guy."In focus groups, Black voters who sat out 2016 said they hadn't believed that Clinton would tangibly improve their lives, said Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of BlackPAC, a super PAC that aims to energize Black voters."With Biden, their assumption is, he will mitigate their pain and suffering," Shropshire said.Democrats say Biden doesn't provoke the same level of antipathy in rural areas, where vandalism of Clinton's yard signs was rampant four years ago.Rich Fitzgerald, the county executive of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, which includes Pittsburgh and its suburbs, said he sees Biden signs in conservative areas where he had never spotted support for Clinton."Seeing people that live in some of these Trump counties that feel confident enough to put a Joe Biden sign in their yard just tells you something," he said.Liberal Democrats, too, are showing more willingness to set aside their ideological differences, following the lead of Sanders, who quickly backed Biden after ending his primary bid."In the last election, I didn't see things as being as dire as I do in this election, and I didn't think that Donald Trump could win," said Nikki Baker, 66, a Minneapolis waitress who voted for Stein in 2016. "When Angela Davis and Noam Chomsky are saying you have to vote for Joe Biden, then I have to vote for Joe Biden."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
Brennan worries that if he loses, Trump could provoke civil unrest, declare martial law or take other damaging steps before Joe Biden is inaugurated.
“Until solar and wind power take more of the energy load, I like not paying an arm and a leg to heat my house.”
“It is imperative to ramp down greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible.”
“Any kind of ban on fracking would cause severe damage to our stressed economy.”
“Climate scientists are urging us to leave all fossil fuels in the ground so that they’ll never be burned. That includes natural gas.”
“Any immediate economic repercussions to the economy can be offset if oil-and-gas companies are made to pay their fair share.”