Be A Competent Voter

If you do vote, you have a moral obligation to do it well. You must do it with competence.  “You don’t have an obligation to be a surgeon,” Brennan says, by way of comparison, “but if you are going to be a surgeon, you have a duty to be a competent surgeon.  You don’t have an obligation to be a parent, but if you decide to become a parent, you have an obligation to be a competent one.  I think the same holds true for voters.”

Assistant Professor Jason Brennan – Georgetown University

Decisions Decisions

With an election coming, Georgetown McDonough researchers analyze America’s brand of democracy.

September 28, 2012
Georgetown University – McDonough School of Business
By Chris Blose

Every day as we approach November, “I endorse this message” campaign ads become more prominent and prevalent on national television. Political pundits ramp up their rhetoric. The 24-hour news cycle fills with campaign stops and candidate quotes. The pollsters ready their daily data. Polling places roll out the red, white, and blue bunting. All of these signs mean it is time for Americans to do what they do every four years: vote for the president.

The decision — along with the election of national, state, and local candidates — holds real import. The outcome will affect the country’s policy direction for the next four years, if not longer. Such a subject deserves serious, rigorous thought, and not just by the voters making decisions.

Read complete article here.

Money Spent Does Not Equal Voters Prepared!

Political ad spending is accelerating but are voters better informed and better prepared this election season?  We think not.

Check out these numbers, from Elizabeth Wilmer, writing in Advertising Age.


That’s the Kantar Media CMAG projection for total spending on local spot TV advertising in the 2012 elections — for everything from president down to the proverbial dogcatcher. This sum is roughly equal to:

1 Year of Insurance Ads:  Spending on TV ads by insurance industry annually: $3.3 billion

6 Months of Car Spots:  Amount spent by carmakers on TV advertising in six months: $3.2 billion

1 Year of Education Ads:  Total media spending by marketers for colleges, trade schools and career-training programs in one year: $2.9 billion

1 Year of P&G Marketing:  The total annual media ad budget of Procter & Gamble, the biggest advertiser in the United States: $2.9 billion



Kantar Media CMAG projects a midrange estimate of $1.1 billion for total TV ad spending for the 2012 presidential race. As of Labor Day, more than one-third of that amount had been spent, making $330 million our estimate for spending each month from now through Election Day.

Burger & Fries:  What the top 10 restaurant advertisers — McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Subway, Burger King, Wendy’s, IHOP, Domino’s Pizza, Sonic, Red Lobster and KFC — collectively spend on all media in an average month: $330 million.

Candy & Perfume:  Combined spending of candy (in October) and cologne marketers (from Thanksgiving to Christmas): $330 million

How to Use Online Video to Run an Effective Campaign

“There is one tool that can help candidates to get their message across and run a more effective campaign: online video.”

Image: KZO Innovations, Inc.

Brian Kelly, Vice President of Sales at KZO Innovations, shared several key  observations about the power of video for campaign marketing in the Huffington Post this week, including:

•  “Typically, we see online video incorporated into political campaigns as advertisements and recordings of speeches. However, it can be much more — a gateway to communication, a campaign management tool, and a tool to build a positive image for the candidate;”

•  “Video provides information in a fast and user-friendly way, and it’s cost-effective. Video can also be updated more easily than hard copies of campaign information, meaning you can quickly swap out clips if there’s a campaign update or change;”

• “In addition, video allows for collaboration with an audience in real-time (assuming your video platform offers this feature). It also provides direct communication, meaning it doesn’t leave room for interpretation or “spinning” from political journalists — your message is clear to voters;”

Kelly summed it up this way:  “As more and more voters move online, it’s clear that video is one aspect of communication political figures can use to their advantage.”

(emphasis added)

Hey Ohio – Guess Who’s Running for Office?

For the first time ever, Ohio voters can comparison shop for their congressional candidates via a new, easy-to-use, innovative website.  PolitiView features candidates from all sixteen congressional races, as well as Ohio’s US Senate campaign.

Election Innovation is Coming – And That’s Good for Voters

Here are some interesting thoughts from Nomiki Konst in a recent column titled:

Faster, Better, Stronger Campaigning: How Technology Will Eliminate the Need for As Much Money in Politics

•  “We are at a turning point again. Technology has unleashed more effective messaging tools for nearly everyone — advertisers, companies, nonprofits and, yes, even political candidates. And just like everything else that comes out of our free market world, the more things evolve, the cheaper they become.”

•  “What if presidential elections were cheaper? Shorter? More effective? Well, if the internet and social media flattened and leaned up business — believe it or not — it may soon do the same for presidential politics.”

•  “The change must happen naturally — through the evolution of our political model. Through a model that shifts messaging and spending from TV to cheaper, more effective online messaging.”

You Get What You Vote For

Recent events have hammered home the importance of really knowing who you’re voting for.

Maybe you want a county judge who thinks the president is going to enable the United Nations to invade our country.

Maybe you want a US Congressman aspiring to be US Senator who thinks women have a magic way to turn-off their reproductive system after being raped.

Or maybe you want a married US Congressman to use Twitter to engage in racy exchanges with young women. Continue reading