President Trump and Republican Congressional representatives are giving millions in media value -- in terms of TV ad dollars -- to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, according to analysts and some reports.
Trump has failed to pin Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden, to Ukrainian-connected corruption issues. But Kurt Volker, a former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, called allegations of corrupt intent by Biden “self-serving and non-credible.”
Now, in an effort to give the allegations more heft, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) is asking the Justice Department to push for a formal investigation.
Will that add -- or subtract -- from this value? Right now, Biden says the focus is obvious: “I've learned something from these impeachment trials. I've learned that Donald Trump doesn't want me to be the nominee," he said during the recent debate.
All this gets murky with impeachment testimony showing that Trump was looking for Ukrainian officials to “announce” — but not necessarily enact — an “actual” investigation.
That may have some people and voters scratching their heads. Either way, the mentioning of Biden’s name has give his brand a specific lift in a key metric for TV marketers: brand awareness.
Biden’s current favorable ratings are at 43.4%, according to recent polling data through November 20 from fivethirtyeight.com. His unfavorable ratings are nearly identical, 44.3%. By way of comparison -- at the same time before the presidential primary season in 2016 -- then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was at a 32.6% favorable number; with his unfavorable number at 58.7%.
Currently, through November 22, President Trump has a 41.9% approval number and a 53.6% disapproval number, according to fivethirtyeight.com.
There was plenty of Trump tweets about Biden, of course. Then, in early in October, The Donald J. Trump for President campaign ran a spot called “Biden Corruption” -- 20 national/regional airings of a TV commercial yielding a collective 27.4 million impressions, with a estimated total advertising spend of $186,035, according to iSpot.tv
Much of this spend aired on Fox News Channel, with other TV media, running on CBS (“Seal Team”) and Investigation Discovery, Fox Television Network and MSNBC.
Typically, the mere question of wrongdoing by a candidate seeking political office -- by a political ad or just from some explosive news itself -- is enough to derail a campaign.
But consider what happened to then-presidential candidate Trump in 2016 around the "Access Hollywood" tape concerning sexual harassment from Trump's own mouth?
Maybe we are playing in a different ballgame. What can start out as an obvious political advertising effort against a major candidate can quickly yield other unintended results.