Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
Why are only 3% to 5% of American voters up for grabs in the presidential campaign? Think about it this way. You know that song “Call Me Maybe?” Most of us have heard it over most of the summer. For me, that’s been about 10 million times, give or take a million. It’s been played with such radio rotation, trying to find and sell the song to new listeners by this point in the summer, would be hard. There aren’t that many. And just about everyone else who has heard it repeatedly is now sick of it.
In this political year, the election faces the same problem as the song. The political scenario of selling Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are the same. Most of us have heard their political songs a million times already. Obama’s obviously from being president and through a barrage of media converge and commercials for or against his policies.
Second-time running Mitt Romney has been around, too. And big TV ratings captured when the public tuned to see Romney’s performance and stated policies during the Republican Presidential debates. And a daily barrage of stories thereafter.
To keep going with the radio rotation metaphor, both of these guys got lot of airplay. But what’s different this time around is the public has been actively listening. After most elections, politics continue but the public turns their attention back to their private lives. But 2008 and beyond have been different. The election and the public attention and adrenaline over the economic crisis in America never ended.
In normal election cycles, once an election is over, People had the luxury of going back to political sleep. As if to say “Go run the country and wake me up around the next election.” An awakening that starts usually around March of an election year, when the campaign alarm starts going off. We hit the snooze bar though the summer and finally wake up in time for the barrage of campaign ads and debates to start learning candidate sand the issues.
This time around, we couldn’t go to sleep. With so much political and economic chaos, our political life and our personal lives are closely wound together to ignore. Will I keep my job? Wars. Geopolitical changes. The threat (or savior) of healthcare. The “threat” of Muslims. The European crisis. The constant noise of gloom and fear made it hard for anyone fall into a deep political sleep. Even those who could likely still napped with one eye open to political and world events.
Awake, we listened to politics and politicians when we normally wouldn’t. And listen much more than usual. To the point of being overtired listening to political messaging. By now, we’ve heard the incumbent enough. By now, we’ve seen enough of Mitt Romney to have an opinion. So much that the imminent “Commericalapocalypse” of over a billion dollars in political ads that will be spent over the next 90 days will change few minds. Minds already set.
Political consultants may be hoping that with the right strategy their message gets out. It’s been out. And America’s been listening. And we all wish we could go back to sleep.