Cory Booker keeps whining about diversity. Except that black voters would choose anyone other than him. Even an environmentalist billionaire.
Let’s say that you’re 1 of 2 unlikable billionaires scrambling for a seat in the 2020 Democrat clown car. What do you do?
You spend money. Lots of it. On ads and consultants.
While Michael Bloomberg at least appears to be pursuing a creative, out-of-the-box strategy, Tom Steyer is just letting the usual political guys take him for a ride.
Here’s how that’s going.
In South Carolina, Steyer has plowed extensive resources into television spots and a flurry of mail while building up a sizable ground game. His 60-person team in South Carolina is the largest of his four state operations. He’s beginning to see some results: according to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, Steyer is now in 5th place there with 5%, one percentage point behind Buttigieg.
Just as important, he’s polling at 4% with black voters, who make up more than half the Democratic electorate in South Carolina. That places him slightly ahead of Sen. Cory Booker, who‘s made the state a focus, and Buttigieg.
How much did Steyer spend to get there?
Steyer has spent about $10 million on ads in S.C. markets, according to ad tracking firm Advertising Analytics — outspending his challengers Biden, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Warren and Sanders who are top four in the polls.
$10 million to get to 5th place.
He’s still doing better than Cory Booker. But in New Hampshire, everyone is sick of his ads.
Maggie and Libby knew Tom Steyer’s ad by heart: “I’m going to say two words that will make Washington insiders very uncomfortable: Term limits!” they recently chirped in unison at the dinner table.
Unfortunately for Steyer, their votes can’t be bought — they’re 10 and 13.
“It was like a comedy act,” the children’s father, Loren Foxx, said. “His ads are on constantly.”
Some Granite staters said they’re seeing Steyer’s ads dozens of times a day — and it’s become more grating than ingratiating. A POLITICO reporter who watched YouTube music videos this week by Pentatonix, a popular a capella group, endured 17 Steyer ads in just over an hour.
In one way, it has worked just enough to get him a podium on nationally-televised debates. But on the ground, the ads don’t appear to be moving the needle much with voters. Steyer has steadily polled at about 2 percent in New Hampshire since the summer.
At least he’s making some ad buyers rich with his own wealth redistribution.