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Map of U.S. television markets (
While it's too premature to start declaring the presidential race finished, that cake is smelling a little more baked each day. With that in mind, a young man's fancies turn increasingly toward thoughts of down-ballot races, and the importance of preserving our Senate majority and eating into the Republican edge in the House. Given the many options there, though, that raises the question of where to contribute.

Daily Kos's endorsements, like the Speaker Pelosi Project, are a great place to start. There are a number of potential angles to consider in where to contribute, though, and another consideration is how "efficient" a contribution is likely to be... in other words, how effectively will our netroots dollars be spent? While we don't have a way of knowing whether or not a campaign will make good strategic decisions, one thing we can evaluate is whether the media markets where a race will take place are good buys.

Think of it this way: a $100 contribution gets stretched a lot further in a race with a cheap media market, where there are few eyeballs to reach, than in a race with expensive markets. In, say, Wyoming, that $100 might actually buy you an airing or multiple airings of an ad; in New York, your investment would buy you the tiniest fraction of an ad. Your 'investment' is a lot likelier to pay dividends -- in the form of more viewers, and hopefully more changed minds -- in the cheaper market. In other words, in a cheaper market, you can exert a lot more leverage.

You'll probably notice, looking at the chart below, that there's a strong relationship between the population of a state and the cost of advertising there. That's because, quite logically, the more viewers are in a market, the more it costs to buy ad space there. However, the efficiency question is complicated by the question of 'wasted eyeballs,' being forced to pay to advertise to people for whom the ad isn't relevant. Many media markets cross state lines, and that means that a campaign buying ads in those markets is paying for eyeballs that can't vote in that election.

It's not a huge issue in the presidential race, since even when ads bleed over from swing states into non-swing states, everyone is still voting in the same election. It's a much bigger issue in Senate races, though (and even worse in House races, where in the biggest metropolitan areas, a contested district may be one of dozens). Consider, for instance, the Virginia Senate race, where the largest percentage of the state's voters live in the Washington DC market, one of the nation's most populous and expensive markets... but in order to advertise there, that means spending millions of dollars to beat residents of Maryland and the District of Columbia (and, for that matter, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) over the head with your irrelevant ads. As you can see below, the wasted-eyeball phenomenon is even worse in the states that border New York City.

Information about how much it costs to advertise in a particular district isn't public and difficult to come by, but we've obtained some rough data from Democratic media-buying sources. (Don't use these figures to engage in your own media buying; these are slightly outdated numbers, and there's also a disparity in the amounts charged to various clients. Candidates, for instance, pay a different rate than third-party groups like the national committees or Super PACs, who wind up paying considerably more. I'm merely giving you these numbers to give you a sense of the magnitude of the difference between cheap markets and expensive markets. The overall ratio is what you should be focused on.)

The amount of money given for each race is the amount to run a full flight of ads. In media-buying jargon, that would be the amount needed to ensure that an ad airs 10 times in outlets that will get it to 100% of the intended audience. For the statewide races, the given markets don't necessarily blanket the entire state, but are simply media buyers' "recommended" markets (which tend to exclude markets that cover less than, say, 10% of the state's population). A campaign that's feeling particularly stingy (or engaged in some skillful microtargeting) could choose to avoid certain markets and save money, or if they're especially flush, they could also choose to advertise in markets beyond the "recommended" parameters. (For instance, Florida's Bill Nelson might choose to put some money into the Dothan, Alabama market in addition to the 10 other recommended markets, just to make sure the Panhandle gets completely blanketed.)

Here is the Senate chart; the closer to the top a race is, the more "efficient" a pick it is...

State Markets Cost
North Dakota Fargo, Minot 60K
Hawaii Honolulu 75K
Maine Portland, Bangor, Presque Isle 114K
New Mexico Albuquerque 115K
Nebraska Omaha, Lincoln, No. Platte 150K
Montana Missoula, Billings, Great Falls,
Butte, Helena, Glendive
West Virginia Charleston, Bluefield, Clarksburg,
Wheeling, Parkersburg
Nevada Las Vegas, Reno 272K
Wisconsin Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison,
La Crosse, Wausau
Indiana Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne, So. Bend,
Evansville, Terre Haute, Lafayette
Missouri St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield,
Columbia, Paducah, Joplin, St. Joseph, Ottumwa
Washington Seattle, Spokane, Yakima 577K
Michigan Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, Lansing,
Traverse City, Marquette, Alpena
Arizona Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma 676K
Massachusetts Boston, Springfield, Providence 762K
Ohio Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati,
Dayton, Toledo, Youngstown, Wheeling,
Lima, Zanesville, Parkersburg
Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg,
Wilkes-Barre, Johnstown, Erie
Virginia Washington, Norfolk, Richmond,
Roanoke, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg
Florida Tampa, Miami, Orlando,
W. Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Ft. Myers,
Mobile, Tallahassee, Panama City, Gainesville
Connecticut Hartford, New York 3,050K
New Jersey New York, Philadelphia 3,470K

As you can see, by far the best advertising deal among all the nation's remotely-competitive Senate races is North Dakota. It's one of the least populous states, and it doesn't have much of a wasted-eyeball factor either (the Fargo market does extend many miles into Minnesota, but those are pretty empty miles). Former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp is our candidate there, as we try to hold the open seat left by Kent Conrad's retirement, and a contribution to her goes about 57 times further than a contribution to New Jersey's Bob Menendez. (As far as advertising goes, at least; contributions certainly pay for GOTV, advertising in other media, and simple organization. But broadcast TV is very much the largest expense for a campaign in a competitive statewide race.) And at the end of the day, Heitkamp would be one more Senator, worth exactly as much as Menendez toward a majority.

Of course, ideology matters too, not just the business of getting to a majority. While Heitkamp and Montana's Jon Tester are some of the most "efficient" picks (and great campaigners), their more moderate profiles may not appeal to all netroots donors. Nevertheless, there are some very progressive options at the bargain end of the scale, most notably Mazie Hirono and Martin Heinrich in the open seats in Hawaii and New Mexico, respectively. Both Hirono and Heinrich are part of Daily Kos's Upgrade the Senate program.

There's much more discussion over the fold...

Of course, it doesn't really matter that West Virginia and Maine are super-efficient states to advertise in (not that you're likely to want to give money to conservadem Joe Manchin or flaky quasi-independent Angus King anyway), since those races are barely competitive, and not likely to be make-or-break races that decide the Senate majority. (Manchin and King have led easily in the few polls we've seen of those races, and Daily Kos Elections currently rates them both Likely Democratic.)

So, I've added an extra dimension, trying to incorporate the importance of the race as well. I've kept Tossup races at the same value, while multiplying somewhat-less-competitive "Lean" races by 2 and barely-competitive "Likely" races by 3, which places the most weight on the hottest races. The races that are the most efficient and likeliest to help determine whether the Dems keep the majority rise to the top. Notably, that's still North Dakota and Hawaii (which benefits by not having any wasted eyeballs at all, thanks to not having any neighbors), while expensive and uninteresting states like New Jersey and Washington get pushed even further down.

State Cost Rating Adjusted
North Dakota 60K Tossup 60K
Hawaii 75K Lean D 150K
Montana 154K Tossup 154K
New Mexico 115K Lean D 230K
Nevada 272K Tossup 272K
Wisconsin 276K Tossup 276K
Maine 114K Likely I 342K
Nebraska 150K Likely R 450K
Missouri 519K Tossup 519K
West Virginia 200K Likely D 600K
Indiana 345K Lean R 690K
Massachusetts 762K Tossup 762K
Michigan 581K Lean D 1,162K
Arizona 676K Lean R 1,352K
Virginia 1,473K Tossup 1,473K
Ohio 778K Lean D 1,556K
Washington 577K Likely D 1,731K
Connecticut 3,050K Tossup 3,050K
Pennsylvania 1,082K Likely D 3,246K
Florida 2,516K Lean D 5,032K
New Jersey 3,470K Likely D 10,410K

Now let's take a brief look at the nation's competitive gubernatorial races and their efficiencies. It's a short list, since there aren't a lot of races, period. Montana is by far the best buy, given its small population and little spill-over of its markets across state lines; in addition, it's one of only three races that we have currently rated Tossup, along with the less-efficient New Hampshire and Washington. (New Hampshire, despite its population, is hampered by the fact that it's dominated by the Boston media market, which has a lot of people, most of whom aren't even in New Hampshire.) I'm not factoring up "Lean" and "Likely" races here, since there are so few of them.

State Markets Cost
Montana Missoula, Billings, Great Falls,
Butte, Helena, Glendive
West Virginia Charleston, Bluefield, Clarksburg,
Wheeling, Petersburg
Indiana Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne, So. Bend,
Evansville, Terre Haute, Lafayette
Missouri St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield,
Columbia, Paducah, Joplin,
St. Joseph, Ottumwa
Washington Seattle, Spokane, Yakima 577K
New Hampshire Boston 583K
North Carolina Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro,
Greenville NC, Greenville SC, Wilmington

Finally, let's turn to the nation's House races. There are some huge disparities here, as some markets -- mostly rural ones -- neatly overlap their constituency. On the one hand, for instance, take Rhode Island's 1st district, at the top of the list; here you only need to pay for advertising in the Providence market, a small market and where there's little bleed across the state lines. On the other hand, consider California's 41st district, where you pay to advertise to everybody in the Los Angeles market, where you're also reaching people who live in several dozen other House districts.

Rather than doing the multiplier thing with differently-rated House races, I'm doing a separate chart for Tossup and "Lean" districts; the Tossup districts are the most important ones for deciding House control, though the Lean districts by no means should be neglected, and they present a lot of really efficient options. Let's start with the Tossups.

State Markets Cost
RI-01 Providence 116K
FL-18 W. Palm Beach 126K
IA-03 Omaha, Des Moines 129K
IL-17 Davenport, Rockford, Peoria 150K
UT-04 Salt Lake City 185K
NY-21 Albany, Watertown, Burlington 198K
CT-05 Hartford 198K
NC-08 Charlotte 216K
NV-04 Las Vegas 219K
PA-12 Pittsburgh, Johnstown 219K
IL-12 St. Louis, Paducah 233K
NC-07 Wilmington, Myrtle Beach, Raleigh 243K
OH-16 Cleveland 245K
CA-52 San Diego 285K
MN-08 Minneapolis, Duluth 307K
CA-07 Sacramento 354K
AZ-01 Phoenix 544K
AZ-09 Phoenix 544K
MA-06 Boston 583K
NH-01 Boston 583K
NH-02 Boston 583K
IL-10 Chicago 988K
IL-11 Chicago 988K
FL-26 Miami 1,115K
CA-26 Los Angeles 2,702K
CA-41 Los Angeles 2,702K

As you can see, the least efficient districts are the ones in the L.A. and Chicago markets; in addition, we run into the same New Hampshire problem as before, having to play in the Boston market. (It's worth noting that one of the affiliates within the Boston market is actually a Manchester station; New Hampshire candidates may emphasize that station much more so than the other Boston-based stations. And, of course, House candidates tend to rely more on cable and less on broadcast, which doesn't have the same reach but allows much more effective targeting.)

The smaller-market districts (like Iowa's 3rd, Illinois' downstate 17th, and upstate New York's 21st), on the other hand, are the most "efficient." Somewhat surprisingly, Florida's 18th (the site of the high-dollar battle between Allen West and Patrick Murphy) is also one of the cheapest, according to this analysis. All of the district, which runs between West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce at the north ends of the Miami metropolitan area, is within the West Palm Beach media market, rather than the much more expensive Miami one. The West Palm Beach market, though, is very populous (more than a million residents), so my suspicion is that it's cheap because the West Palm Beach-based affiliates are lightly watched, with many of its residents watching the Miami affiliates instead, which they probably also receive. (Ratings, and desirable demographics, play a role in determining costs from market to market, not just population numbers.) At any rate, it seems like candidates there would want to advertise in the expensive Miami market as well, if they wanted to be thorough (and given how much money West and Murphy have to work with, they can easily afford to do so), though that would also make their races much less "efficient" by our standards.

Now let's turn to the House districts that Daily Kos Elections has rated "Lean Democratic or "Lean Republican..."

State Markets Cost
IN-02 South Bend 42K
CA-24 Santa Barbara 51K
NY-24 Syracuse 56K
KY-06 Lexington 58K
NY-25 Rochester 72K
IN-08 Evansville, Terre Haute 72K
AZ-02 Tucson 79K
MI-01 Marquette, Traverse City, Alpena 81K
IA-04 Sioux City, Des Moines, Rochester 106K
NM-01 Albuquerque 115K
GA-12 Augusta, Macon, Savannah 153K
NY-27 Buffalo, Rochester 159K
NV-03 Las Vegas 219K
IL-13 St. Louis, Champaign 242K
OH-06 Wheeling, Charleston, Columbus, Parkersburg, Zanesville 301K
MI-11 Detroit 315K
TX-23 El Paso, Odessa, San Angelo, San Antonio 340K
CA-07 Sacramento 354K
CA-10 Sacramento 354K
WI-07 Duluth, Minneapolis, Wausau, La Crosse 360K
CO-06 Denver 469K
CO-07 Denver 469K
WA-01 Seattle 482K
FL-16 Tampa 536K
CO-03 Denver, Colorado Spgs., Grand Jct. 551K
PA-08 Philadelphia 618K
TX-14 Houston, Beaumont 891K
MD-06 Washington 1,131K
FL-22 Miami, W. Palm Beach 1,241K
CA-47 Los Angeles 2,407K
NY-01 New York 2,852K
NY-11 New York 2,852K
NY-18 New York 2,852K
NY-19 New York, Binghamton, Albany 2,852K
NJ-03 New York, Philadelphia 3,470K

There are some terribly inefficient districts here, most notably NJ-03, a district that's split between Philly's suburbs and the Jersey Shore. There, the broadcast TV costs are just the same as the entire New Jersey Senate race, seeing as how you'd need to advertise in both the New York and Philadelphia media markets. (This is one of those districts where the war is probably fought mostly on cable, through mailers, and other lower-dollar media.)

On the other hand, there are some great buys here too. Surprisingly, one of them is CA-24, where progressive Dem Lois Capps is running. Most of the district is in the Santa Barbara market, which isn't very populous and also seems especially cheap, given possibly that many people there opt to watch Los Angeles stations. Again, that points to the possibility that the candidates here might advertise a bit in L.A. despite the expense in order to be thorough, which would elevate it from being one of the best buys. Some of the others, though, work out well; IN-02 neatly overlaps South Bend's market, and KY-06 is a pretty precise match with Lexington's market.

Finally, there are the "Likely Democratic" and "Likely Republican" House races; it would be overkill to go through that whole list since they're unlikely to flip but rather are races that could move into play if circumstances change (either something momentum-changing within the race, or the development of a national wave). However, I did pull out a handful of races within those categories that seemed likeliest to be the most efficient; again, they tend to be rural seats without much spillover across state lines.

State Markets Cost
ND-AL Fargo, Minot 60K
SD-AL Sioux Falls, Rapid City 72K
NE-02 Omaha 75K
FL-02 Panama City, Tallahassee 84K
WV-03 Bluefield, Charleston 96K
ME-02 Portland, Bangor, Presque Isle 114K
OK-02 Tulsa, Ft. Smith, Sherman 127K
MT-AL Missoula, Billings, Great Falls, Butte, Helena, Glendive 154K

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 07:46 PM PDT.

Also republished by Hirono for Senate and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great info but I think you mean Harrisonburg (6+ / 0-)

    not Harrisburg for the VA media market.

    26, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

    by okiedem on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 07:50:43 PM PDT

  •  Well. (11+ / 0-)

     The best way not to waste our money would be to independently run google ads for our endorsed candidates. They are cheap, legal, and can now be highly targeted to the level of the congressional district, county, or zip code.

       But yes, interesting work. I did not know there could be a difference in cost by a factor of nearly 100 between districts. Students for a New American Politics!

    by redrelic17 on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 07:53:29 PM PDT

  •  Mourdock v Donnelly in Indiana (14+ / 0-)

    I wish I could add one more criteria to your excellent analysis: the crazy factor!

    Richard Mourdock is the teabagger who primaried Richard Lugar from the right. Joe Donnelly, is a moderate Dem running against him for Senate.

    The Obama campaign is MIA in the state this year, so Mourdock stands a chance of winning simply because the Republicans are keeping him out of the spotlight by sandwiching him in between Mike Pence (R for governor) and Susan Brooks (R running for Dan Burton's Congressional seat).

    Because Obama isn't active in Indiana in 2012 the Rs are not being forced to own the crazy.  With more money and support Donnelly could take this election.

    "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

    by annan on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 08:15:25 PM PDT

  •  As annan pointed out (12+ / 0-)

    Indiana is a critical state this year even if people tend to ignore us. With just a little influence we could literally be the stalwarts in holding the line in the Senate.

    And as I just diaried, because Donnelly is going for the Senate we have a chance at loosing IN-2 to a the repugs, which is why we need to fight hard and fight long in this state.

    We gave it to Obama in 08, we can do it again.

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 08:27:07 PM PDT

    •  IN-2 was probably a lost cause (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      idbecrazyif, science nerd

      anyway, having been gerrymandered to force Donnelly out. Hence why he ran for the Senate against Lugar, who was generally considered to be invincible at the time.

      You are, however, still right about the importance of Indiana in general.

      •  Its gerrymandered sure (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stwriley, Woody, oceanview

        But looking at numbers here, we still have a shot. Its a tough slog sure, but with enough GOTV effort and some education about the opponent the win is there.

        --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

        by idbecrazyif on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 05:18:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wow, I'm really surprised FL-18 is so cheap (16+ / 0-)

    Makes me really glad I sent Patrick Murphy $10 since I only picked that one since Allen West is particularly unfit for Congress.

    I'm really glad you put this up here since I hate that the "upgrade the senate" series on the front page tends to ignore North Dakota where it's ridiculously cheap for a senate seat and Heidi Heitkamp is going to be more liberal than Kent "can't we all just get along and cut social security?" Conrad.

    NC-06/NC-04; -9.00, -8.41; progress through pragmatism

    by sawolf on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 08:43:12 PM PDT

  •  Thank you I have been looking for this info (6+ / 0-)

    I got hit up today for N dak so since it is at the top of your list I am donating. So from the top down on the Senate. How Do I find out the candidates name? And would I be better donating to DNC and let them direct money to potential successful candidates> I could just up my monthly or should I pick them myself?

    How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 08:56:58 PM PDT

    •  Individual candidates--MUCH more cost-effective. (4+ / 0-)


      Fear is a habit. I am not afraid." Daw Aung San Suu Kyi * * * * " [we]. . . refuse to let fear change the way we build our society." Jo Nesbo

      by sturunner on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 04:48:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pick them yourself. (7+ / 0-)

      The moment your money goes to the DNC, they can use it to help anyone they want, such as (prior to his withdrawal) Ben Nelson (D-NE), or Joe Manchin, or a variety of other Democrats that none of us here particularly like.

      Send the money yourself, and two powerful messages are sent: first, that the base is not the captive of the establishment, and second, that these progressive candidates have real pulling power (and thus, deserve backing).

      It's a way to quietly upgrade the Democratic Party, one candidate at a time and without going to the fuss the Tea Party whackjobs do.

    •  Not the DNC, that's Obama (6+ / 0-)

      The DNC, the Democratic National Committee is, in effect, an arm of the Obama campaign. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) It has NO involvement in other races.

      The DSCC, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign committee, sends its funds to Senate races, with incumbents first and foremost. After all, it is the incumbent protection arm of the Democratic Caucus int he Senate.

      The DCCC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is the House incumbent protection outfit, also doing some work to get back Speaker Pelosi where it sees likely pick-ups.

      So if you like to support more progressive candidates, well, pick your own.

      If you want to be a little edgy, give to Toss-ups or even to Lean Repub races.

      You asked about the Senate:

      Heidi Heitkamp if you would especially like to send more women to fight the Repubs war on women.

      Richard Carmona if you want to help push Arizona into the blue states group sooner than waiting for later.

      Jon Tester in Montana if you like two-fers and three-fers, since that state also has an at-large House seat and a Governor's race.

      Joe Donnelly in Indiana if you can't stand smart-ass twerp Tea Baggers like Richard "We need less bipartisanship in Congress" Mourdock.

      Joe Donnelly in Indiana if you can't stand smart-ass twerp Tea Baggers like Richard "I certainly think bipartisanship should consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view" Mourdock.

      Joe Donnelly in Indiana if you can't stand smart-ass twerp Tea Baggers like Richard "For me the highlight of politics is to inflict my opinion on someone else" Mourdock.

      (OK, how I really feel personally, I just can't stand smart-ass twerp Tea Baggers like Richard Mourdock.)

      And there are other worthy candidates. Hope you got the big bucks. We need to find someone like a lesser known Koch family member. ;-)

  •  Fabulous job--thanks so much. (9+ / 0-)

    Happily most of my contribs have been efficient races, especially Senate.  This is a very welcome aid, especially for the House.

    The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

    by Mimikatz on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 08:58:23 PM PDT

  •  Where's my media market? (3+ / 0-)

    I don't see it on there.

    Keeper of the DKE glossary. Priceless: worth a lot; not for sale.

    by SaoMagnifico on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 10:30:25 PM PDT

    •  First we will peer into the crystal ball (3+ / 0-)

      When we see where you live.

      Only then can we cut open a small animal and examine the entrails to discern your media market.

    •  Your state has three (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but they don't cover all areas of the state. Here's a link. So I guess some people in your state might not get broadcast TV. They'd probably need satellite to get TV, as I doubt they can get cable either.

      Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

      by fearlessfred14 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 08:49:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see commercials for stuff in Anchorage... (0+ / 0-)

        And the Kenai Peninsula and Mat-Su Valley constantly. Not Fairbanks, though. My guess is the Juneau media market piggybacks off Anchorage (we also get Anchorage news broadcasts; Ketchikan actually gets local news from Seattle).

        Keeper of the DKE glossary. Priceless: worth a lot; not for sale.

        by SaoMagnifico on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 11:08:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If it's Alaska (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          then it's Anchorage 44K, Fairbanks 15K, and Juneau 22K. (Statewide 81K, so North Dakota's still a better deal.)

          Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

          by David Jarman on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 11:12:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Will there be any better deals in 2014? (0+ / 0-)

            Begich is a particularly strong candidate, but Alaska is still a very red state. I'd think the question would be if it's pro-incumbent enough to keep Begich if he keeps bringing home pork.

            Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

            by fearlessfred14 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 01:49:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Are you still in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the Portland area? If so, the Portland market is 192K for a full flight. (All statewide "recommended" markets are 285K, once you throw in Eugene, Medford, and Bend.) Anyway, as I'm sure you know, there are no competitive races in Oregon this year above the state House level. (Although I suspect there was a certain amount of sarcasm in your question...)

      As an aside, Portland isn't a "recommended" market for a statewide buy in Washington, despite the large number of people in Clark County; apparently they're still not a big-enough percentage of the whole state. Still, when Washington was doing the liquor store privatization initiative last year, Costco was so intent on winning they were still buying saturation-level advertising in the Portland market.

      Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

      by David Jarman on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 10:19:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  cable is king in SoCal (5+ / 0-)

       at least in the L.A. metro area (including the OC, Riverside and San Berdoo). Santa Barbara and San Diego may be a different story, but  here it is insanely expensive and wasteful to try to advertise a House (or CA legislative) race over the broadcast airwaves. The only House candidate I can recall using broadcast TV was Jane Harman, who is a very rich lady. She probably used it only for her first race and the one after she stepped out for a term to run unsuccessfully for Governor.

         Broadcast TV is used for statewide ballot measures and the statewide officeholders (Gov, AG, Lt Gov etc). If we ever have a competitive presidential race (not likely) or an open seat Senate race after either DiFi or Babs retires or passes away that would also be a use of broadcast TV. Otherwise it would be campaign malpractice to go on the airwaves (unless you are as rich as Jane Harman and want to blow some bucks.)

    Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 54, new CA-30

    by Zack from the SFV on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 01:48:33 AM PDT

    •  Campaign malpractice (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zack from the SFV

      I sometimes wonder why anyone uses broadcast.

      Nationwide, about 70% of homes are connected to cable. And cable systems carry local broadcast channels with the right to sell spots on their programs, a minute or two per hour iirc.

      The cable system electronically 'inserts' an ad it has sold over a broadcast ad. The cable ad may cover a local station promo or a local ad (like a car dealer), sold and priced with the understanding that it would not run everywhere. That insertion of local cable advertising is part of the traditional deal for the cable companies to carry (provide space on the cable channel line-up to) the local broadcasts.

      Viewers don't even realize that they are seeing a 'cable' ad on the 'local broadcast' of the 10 O'clock News.

      Consider too the viewers who watch sports channels like ESPN or Madison Square Garden, and pay channels like HBO and Showtime, or other cable programmers like TNT, TBS, MTV, the History Channel, the Comedy Channel, etc. Many of those viewers never or very rarely watch the broadcast networks. So if your ads are not running on cable, your ads are not being seen by a big chunk of voters.

      Of course, 70% nationwide can mean 90% in NYC or the L.A. area and 40% in the rural Great Plains. It costs money to string fiber optic along those country roads, and outside of the towns, it doesn't happen.

      Many of those homes that do not get cable do get satellite dish service. I simply do not know, but sort of doubt, that you can get satellite ads targeted by zip code or by county the way you can get cable ads.

      On the other hand, many people who do not pay for cable service actually do get to see some ads on cable, like during that hour down at Joe's Bar after work. Or on the weekend when they gather at a friend's house to watch the big game with Alma Mater College playing Rival U on Homecoming Weekend at Rival U Stadium.

      So any campaign that is not putting a large part of its ad money on cable is surely guilty of campaign malpractice.

    •  Away from the core LA market (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zack from the SFV, oceanview

      The "broadcast" channels have a lot deeper reach on the cable systems in areas that are their own stand alone markets. For the simple reason that KTLA, KCBS, KNBC, KABC, etc don't cover the local news in Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, San Diego or Bakersfield. The Los Angeles stations do overflow in to these adjacent markets via cable. Try watching a Angels game on KTLA in Bakersfield.. you'll find it blocked.

      Terry Phillips for Congress in 23rd District of California.

      by hankmeister on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 10:31:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Should go the next step (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leo Flinnwood, wmspringer, oceanview

    Seems to me that this analysis should be paired with the analysis from Sept 9 here:

    When David excavated the layers of the House landscape by Obama's election performance (adjusted for redistricting) there were a number of races that should be competitive but weren't on the list because the Dem challenger was unknown, or polls were high for the GOP, or whatever.  Potentially competitive but under the radar races in efficient media markets could be identified now.  I think spreading the map is still a great strategy.

  •  Also consider strategically placed PSAs. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, greenbird, Woody, oceanview

    Now, of course PSAs cannot be partisan, but radio stations are legally required to give time for them.

    I'm finishing a set of PSAs that I will post on Sunday (hopefully) that are targeted to run on radio stations popular with our key constituencies.

    They'll be radio-ready and free to download.

    For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

    by mdmslle on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 04:08:26 AM PDT

  •  Great Diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbird, sturunner, oceanview

    Wish I had the bucks to put it to use.

  •  for what THIS is worth... (3+ / 0-)

    my wonderful little green sidekick.
    this is their current mission statement. i approve their message.
    (Links below will take you to great, green detailed information. - gb)

    DE, NH, RI 11 September primary recap and
    52 changes to the candidate list
    Wed 12 Sep 2012 3:00a by Tony Roza

    Former Congressman Virgil Hamlin Goode, Jr.
    (Independent [Constitution]) - added;
    Former New Mexico Governor Gary Earl Johnson
    (Independent [Libertarian]) - previously listed as Libertarian;
    Jill Stein (Independent [Green]) - added.

    House At-Large:
    Sidney I. Hill (No Affiliation) - Pending.

    Jill Stein (Write-in [Green]) - added.

    Senate Class 1:
    Paul Passarelli (Libertarian) - apparently not a candidate;
    Jeff Russell (Write-in [Green]) - added.

    House CD 1:
    Congressman John B. Larson (Democratic, Working Families) - previously listed as Democratic.

    House CD 2:
    Colin D. Bennett (Green) - added;
    Congressman Joseph D. "Joe" Courtney (Democratic, Working Families) - previously listed as Democratic;
    Daniel "Dan" Reale (Write-in [Libertarian]) - previously listed as Libertarian.

    House CD 3:
    Congressman Rosa L. DeLauro (Democratic, Independent Party of Connecticut) - previously listed as Democratic.

    House CD 4:
    Congressman Jim Himes (Democratic, Working Families) - previously listed as Democratic.

    House CD 5:
    S. Michael "Mike" DeRosa (Green) - added;
    John Pistone (Write-in [Independent]) - previously listed as Independent;
    State Senator Andrew Roraback (Republican, Independent Party of Connecticut) - previously listed as Republican.

    Delaware (11 September primary):
    Senate Class 1:
    Senator Thomas R. "Tom" Carper (Democratic) - Renominated;
    Keith Robert Spanarelli (Democratic) - lost Primary.

    House At-Large:
    Rose Izzo (Republican) - lost Primary.

    Commissioner of Insurance:
    Mitch Crane (Democratic) - lost Primary;
    Paul J. Gallagher (Democratic) - lost Primary;
    Dennis Spivack (Democratic) - lost Primary.

    House CD 5:
    Kevin Lewis (Independent) - added.

    House CD 1:
    Wendy W. Rosen (Democratic) - Pending.

    Senate Class 1:
    Russell Paul Anderson (Write-in [Independent]) - previously listed as Independent.

    House CD 2:
    Joe Vaughn (Independent) - apparently not a candidate.

    New Hampshire (11 September primary):
    Former State Senator Jackie Cilley (Democratic) - lost Primary;
    Bill Pearce Kennedy (Democratic) - lost Primary;
    Former State Representative Kevin H. Smith (Republican) - lost Primary;
    Robert M. Tarr (Republican) - lost Primary.

    House CD 1:
    Congressman Frank C. Guinta (Republican) - Renominated;
    Vern Clough (Republican) - lost Primary;
    Richard Charles "Rick" Parent (Republican) - lost Primary.

    House CD 2:
    Congressman Charles F. "Charlie" Bass (Republican) - Renominated;
    Gerard Beloin (Republican) - lost Primary;
    Will Dean (Republican) - lost Primary;
    Miroslaw "Miro" Dziedzic (Republican) - lost Primary;
    Dennis Lamare (Republican) - lost Primary.

    Rhode Island (11 September primary):
    House CD 1:
    Congressman David N. Cicilline (Democratic) - Renominated;
    Anthony P. Gemma (Democratic) - lost Primary;
    Christopher F. "Chris" Young (Democratic) - lost Primary.

    House CD 2:
    Congressman James R. Langevin (Democratic) - Renominated;
    Michael J. Gardiner (Republican) - lost Primary;
    John O. Matson (Democratic) - lost Primary;
    Donald F. Robbio (Republican) - lost Primary;
    Kara D. Russo (Republican) - lost Primary.

    Senate Class 1:
    Robert Lee (Independence) - removed;
    Terrence Wayne "Terry" Modglin (No Party Affiliation) - removed;
    David Wayne Stroupe, Jr. (Independent) - removed.

    House CD 1:
    Adam M. Cook (Democratic) - added.

    House CD 6:
    Karen U. Kwiatkowski (Libertarian [Republican]) - removed.

    House CD 11:
    Joseph A. Glean (No Party Affiliation) - removed.

    In the bullpen:
    Wed 3 Oct: 1st Presidential Debate - Denver, CO
    Thu 11 Oct: Vice Presidential Debate - Danville, KY
    Tue 16 Oct: 2nd Presidential Debate - Hempstead, NY
    Mon 22 Oct: 3rd Presidential Debate - Boca Raton, FL
    Tue 6 Nov: General Election

    * Join: OBAMA'S TRUTH TEAM * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 04:23:02 AM PDT

  •  Great work -- Howabout a PAC? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, oceanview

    This is incredible work. This was done for Daily Kos?

    I've long thought that Markos should form a PAC. I would contribute to it.

    You have the benefit of this professional grade analysis. It would increase the political clout of this community, which I support.  And I would have one fundraising point of contact. When I contribute through ACT Blue, I get on multiple mailing lists in perpetuity.

  •  Congressional race donations (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christopher Walker, oceanview

    I really appreciate the Kos' endorsements of progressives here, but we need more than that if the gavel is to be transferred back to its rightful hand.  While I hate the thought of giving money to a blue dog, we need IN-02, there's no doubt about it.  I need a list of 15 of our candidates in close races, where a little bit of extra money might make the difference.  I don't care if they're progressive or blue dogs.  We need Speaker Pelosi back.  Which are the most important 15 races?  I would expect that IN-02 would be included in that list.  Thanks.  BTW, I already have my Senate donations targeted.

  •  Alpena Please! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bumiputera, Woody, oceanview

    Never heard of it? I've been making calls this weekend and I can assure you there's at least an even chance that Bart Stupak's old seat can be re-taken. The guy's a fifth generation farmer, a bit fiscally conservative (a must up there) but absolutely committed to maintaining our social safety nets. Gary McDowell also knows how to campaign.

    But the Kochs (who consider any northern forest their playground) are going to dump a ton of local ad money in there right now.

    And while you are at it, just throw a bit to the ND senate race. It's do-able.

    •  McDowell and win, and cheap (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      (Sorry. I had to puzzle out your enthusiastic post to get your meaning. So allow me rephrase and expand it.)

      The Alpena tv market, that reaches part of the northern end of the Lower Peninsula, which along with the Upper Peninsula makes up MI-01, is very cheap, and nothing is wasted on other districts.

      (The Marquette and Traverse City stations covering much of this Repub-leaning district are also cheap.)

      And Democratic challenger Gary McDowell is a great campaigner making his second try. This gives us a surprisingly good shot at recapturing this seat with a Cook PVI of only R +3 from a "staunchly pro-life" freshman.

      After Bart Stupack, D, voted for the health care bill, with its watered down abortion coverage and all, the Repub candidate had vowed. "We're going to take over, the Republicans are going to regain the House of Representatives, and we're going to repeal this health care bill." (Under the pressure, Stupack retired rather than run again.)

      Well, despite the promise, no repeal yet. Electing Gary McDowell this year would help make that Repub goal impossible.


      Thanks for your work in this race.

  •  I suggest also utilizing online video, where there (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, llywrch

    are lots of vendors who can target at the zip code level.  No wasted eyeballs.  It's what I do for a living.

    •  How to? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llywrch, ebohlman

      I'm afraid some media buyers always go to broadcast because two or three phone calls to big city stations and the ads are placed. Cash the commission check, sit back, wait two years, repeat.

      The lazy ones don't want to sort out Cox Cable's coverage from Comcast's from Time Warner's in a six-county congressional district.

      And they surely do not know how to buy ads from online video venders, do they?

      A short how-to diary about using online video could be helpful. It does not have to be a plug for any one such vender, but generic description of what it does, and some contact or search info.

  •  my definition of efficiency-- (4+ / 0-)

    The high level of useful political information I get from Daily Kos Elections diarists per diary.

    Thanks again David and all.  You're the best.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 05:42:16 AM PDT

  •  New Jersey really does have it bad. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I live in Philly, so I'm one set of those "wasted eyeballs" that get hit with every NJ political ad that needs to cover the state. The real problem for NJ is that they have almost no native broadcast television anymore, with Cristie having sold off most of the NJN public stations (NJ used to have a whole network of NJN stations across the state, each with its own local tower.) They once carried a lot of political coverage for local and state races, which helped to cut back on ad costs.

    Now the only alternative is cable, but that's not very efficient and doesn't reach nearly the number of eyeballs you want it to. That leaves only the Philly and NYC markets to take up the slack. We've had ads for NJ races for years, but the frequency has been up recently, which pretty well says it all given the costs David laid out in the diary. It's an expensive place to run for office, no question.

    Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

    by Stwriley on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 06:00:21 AM PDT

    •  What makes it inefficient? (0+ / 0-)

      It is harder to place ads on every single cable system covering half the state of New Jersey. More work for the media guy.

      But does cable cost a lot more per viewer? Then why do private businesses saturate the cable systems with commercials for beers, sodas, cars, airlines, fast food, movies, breakfast cereals, and everything else?

      And how many NJ households do not get cable? Srsly, how many homes still use rabbit ears and roof-top antennas? If they're in the middle of the state, then they're too far from the towers on the Empire State Building or in Philly to get a clear signal without cable.

      So srsly. I figure cable penetration in the suburbs must be about 90%. You lose more viewers who fast forward using their Tivos and the like than you lose viewers who never watch cable TV.

      Figure that NJ is roughly one third of the Philly market. Two out of every three dollars is totally wasted. Cable reaches 70% of all households, about two out of three homes, nationwide, and surely it is more in NJ.

      Instead of wasting huge money sending your two out of three of your ads to Pennsylvania, Delaware, and even into Maryland, run three times as many ads on cable in New Jersey where you need them. If your budget is small, it's better to saturate your cable homes and make sure they get seen than to run a handful of ads on Philly tv.

      •  Not as widespread as you'd think. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Woody, oceanview

        In a lot of the burbs, satellite has long since displaced cable as the TV provider of choice. It's much harder to target ad buys locally in that market, but it cuts back the eyeballs watching cable. Plus, cable is always less efficient than broadcast over a broad area because you do have to buy from many systems. I'm not saying that cable isn't useful, but it's no replacement for any state-wide candidate in NJ.

        Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

        by Stwriley on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 11:16:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Simplifying efficient contribution? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    How about a bang-for-the-buck weighted Act Blue donation button? Take the kos-approved candidates, then select the subset where donations go farthest to buy TV, and set that up as a link to split donations among them. I know it doesn't substitute for each of us doing our own research - except some of us have distractions from politics in our lives.

  •  WA-05 should be considered a possibility (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Rich Cowan is the best candidate the D's have run since Tom Foley. The incumbent is Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the person with the vacuous smile standing behind Boehner, Ryan, and Cantor during their press conferences. Her support is a mile wide and an inch deep. An ad buy in Spokane is cheap and covers the entire (large) district. A few bucks might get a huge win for us and eliminate a symbolicly important R. WA-05 should be in that last spreadsheet.

  •  NY-24 and NY-25 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm really glad to see it near the top of your "efficient leaning House markets" list. There's a new and kind of weird Siena poll out this morning that has teabagger incumbent Ann Marie Buerkle tied with Dan Maffei (recall that Buerkle edged Maffei by 700 votes in 2010 with low turnout and no Obama at the top of the ticket).

    This Siena poll claims that the Green candidate is getting 7% of the vote, which seems very very unlikely to me. A few bucks pointed Maffei's way will make a big difference in bringing out voters in the city of Syracuse, where he's up 13 points on Buerkle.

    And there's TV finally running in NY-25 for Louise Slaughter, who hit the air yesterday with some stinging ads reminding voters of the questionable record her GOP opponent Maggie Brooks has racked up in two corrupt terms as Monroe County executive.

    A little more of THAT will make a big difference in a state where there won't be any presidential advertising or campaigning and so the coattails will be thinner, and we need both Louise and Dan in a Democratic House.

    Intended to be a factual statement.

    by ipsos on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 07:11:53 AM PDT

  •  Please add an Act Blue donation link (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, oceanview

    to the diary.  Thanks.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 07:31:18 AM PDT

  •  Interestingly Bloomberg has a short video (0+ / 0-)

    on ad buys in different markets today:

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 08:03:34 AM PDT

  •  I love that map (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Never seen it before.  Wow.  Poor Riverside County!

    Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

    "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

    by Seneca Doane on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 08:17:33 AM PDT

  •  We sent Heitkamp a contribution at the very (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Jarman, oceanview

    start of her campaign.  We know her personally and we like her very much.  Since then, and since she criticized Obama on the XL Pipeline decision and on his supposed inability to bring about the bi-partisanship in Washington that he had promised, we've declined to send her more.  We have, instead, made our contributions to more progressive senate candidates elsewhere and to other down ballot candidates in North Dakota where our political hearts lie.

    We're over that now and are ready to send Heidi money again.  In part this is because we so admire the campaign she has run. She has been on the road every day, making four, five stops each day, rousing large groups to join her walk in every parade in every town in the State. Meeting with sheriffs and first responders, with social workers and teachers and parents, with small business owners and farmers and women. She attends a Powwow every other weekend or so. Every single North Dakotan will have had the opportunity to meet Heidi Heitkamp by election day. She is not only tireless, she is skilled and she is appealing. She's a great candidate and, as others have said, she's going to be better than Conrad was on some of the things we care deeply about.  

    As well, the choice isn't between Heitkamp and Conrad.  It is between Heitkamp and Rick Berg, an empty suit who, as a real estate mogul (some say "slum lord") has achieved the rank of 13th wealthiest member of Congress. He voted wrong on everything during his first term in the House which he had less than half completed as he announced the jump to the Senate. Thus, in addition to supporting Heidi's election, North Dakota also represents to us the most efficient use of our money to keep one such as him out of the United States Senate.

    The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

    by Alice Olson on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 10:01:42 AM PDT

  •  Southwestern Virginia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Bristol TN-VA, although it's a very conservative area (every county went Republican in '08 by large margins), is getting targeted by both Tim Kaine and Obama.  There are about 400,000 Virginians who live in that media market.  Small thing, but I thought you should know.

    Great map, though!  Heidi Heitkamp and Jon Tester sound like good investments.

    VA-03 (current residence) NC-07 (home)

    by psychicpanda on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 01:27:42 PM PDT

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