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TO: The Smith Campaign

FROM: Nhi Tran, Candidate Smith’s Campaign Consultant
RE: Campaign Recommendations for Presidential Candidate Smith
DATE: July 16, 2016

This memo serves for the purpose of giving recommendations on methods of running
Candidate Smith’s 2016 presidential campaign. In order to offer the best suggestions, below are
my study, then personal opinions based on an analysis of 2012 Obama and Romney’s campaign
videos, statistical data of Nevada and North Carolina as well as a summary comparing the two
then-presumed presidential nominees’ media campaigns. Having nice quality and influential
commercials are important to get more people to vote for our side. Additionally, swing states
undoubtedly play a vital role as well because of their abilities to change the ultimate results.
Also, this recent decade has been the glory day for digital era, which appears frequently not only
in daily life, but also in political events like 2012 election.

Using Negative Ads Effectively and Wisely
2012 election saw a dramatic increase in negative commercials making up to over half of
the total number of ads. They undoubtedly have a significant impact on the election outcomes
because voters are usually influenced easily to change their minds on who to support. To be more
specific, it is hard to be a flawless ideal presidential candidate in front of people’s eyes because
no one is actually perfect. Therefore, it is a splendid idea to take advantage of the commercials to
break other candidates’ images, instead of using them solely for promotion. Damaging is always
effective than building because it takes a long time to make good impression, but everything they
create can be destroyed just by only one bad thing. Both of Obama campaign’s videos are
negative ads, showing Romney’s actions most of the times, and they all have remarkable impact,
especially the one featuring face-to-face interviews with residents. In the video, the people are
shown a clip secretly recording the controversial conversation between Romney and his donors.
Those reactions and attitudes are valuable because they can influence others on the issue or may
even reflect other people’s opinions as well. If we use that method, there is definitely a high
possibility in turning the support towards our side. What we need to concern is the information
should be accurate because they can use it against our candidate, making the commercial
misdirected, insufficient, or even harmful to how the results would turn out. Furthermore, we
should use it wisely and balance between positive and negative ads without overspending on
either one.
A notable finding is that a commercial should never target a particular group of people in
a negative way like Romney campaign in “Stand up to China”. This could make candidate Smith
lose a number of valuable votes if we were to use the same method because it is unpredictable
whether we can compensate for the gap we create.

Attracting Swing States With Economic Growth, Healthcare Programs, and Free Tuition
Obtaining all the swing states’ electoral votes would bring huge benefits because our
candidate will be half way to win the election. Please take a look at the statistics below, which
are collected from two swing states, Nevada and North Carolina.

Voting Population
40
35
27.5 27.5

30
25
%

20

21 20.1
Nevada

North Carolina
17
16.7

15
8.4

10

9.1

5
0
20-34

35-54

55-69

70+

Age

Two states seemingly share the same percentage of each age range, so I will generally
give similar recommendations for both of them. A large number of voters are ranging from 35 to
54 years old, which is also the working class. We can focus on improving economy in these areas
to provide more jobs for citizens. In order to persuade older age groups, I suggest offering better
senior services like building more low-cost retirement communities. In addition, we could come
up with new healthcare coverage programs to cut down on insurance, helping low-income
individuals to be able to afford it as well. Every vote counts, so young voters are also as
important as other groups. We can support free college tuition like candidate Sanders and Clinton
or make use of social medias to get more of their attention online. Digital campaigns will be
discussed thoroughly and deeply below with a summary of Obama and Romney’s 2012 online ad
spending.

Focusing on Social Media Campaigns
Whatever Obama campaign did in 2012 had a great influence in the ultimate outcomes
because we all know the fact that Obama won the election. One of the beneficial methods is to
take advantage of social medias and online networking. It undeniably has been a trend for 2012
presidential campaign and become a must for this year election. Statistics have shown Romney
spent $4.7 million on his digital campaign whereas Obama invested $47 million, which was 10
times greater. The Obama campaign seemed to have realized the importance of social medias,

which explained why Obama’s 2012 media campaign spending skyrocketed compared to the one
in 2008, increasing nearly fourfold from $16 million to $47 million. On the other hand,
Romney’s campaign did not quite have the same viewpoint at the beginning and started the
online campaign later. As a result, Romney was not able to win enough votes to become thenpresident. The use of social medias did not stop there for this year election, but instead, even
more widely spread and popular. We can take a look at recent update on other candidates like
Trump and Clinton. They all have their own Twitter accounts and whenever a huge event
happens, they never miss a chance to post tweets and retweets on current issues or even leave
negative comments about their rivals. Therefore, I suggest spending more on media campaigns
because not only they are affordable, but also significantly effective as they could create a viral
phenomenon.

I will be pleased to engage in further discussion about the mentioned recommendations as
well as come up with final decisions together on which campaign strategies should be used
during this coming meeting on Monday.

Bibliography

American FactFinder. “Age.” Community Facts. ONLINE. 2014. Census Bureau.
http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/
productview.xhtml?src=CF.
“Commercials 2012.” The Living Room Candidate. Accessed July 15, 2016.
http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/2012.
“Obama Spent 10 Times as Much on Social Media as Romney.” PBS. November 16, 2016.
http://www.pbs.org/video/2305745720/.