Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Money Bombs are so 2007...

Apparently Sean Duffy is trying to tap into the tea bagger demo by hosting a money bomb tomorrow.

I can't imagine this will end well for several reasons.

1.) He's running for the House ... in Wisconsin. It's not exactly the sexiest elected office in the country. Yes, he's running against the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, but I doubt if that's enough to capitalize on.

2.) He's not the only person throwing a money bomb on the same day. So is Rand Paul, who s something of the rightful heir to the gimmick, as well as numerous others. That means Duffy has to fight for attention from a nationwide audience and rely mostly on donors from Wisconsin, who tend to be frugal.

3.) The economy sucks. That's not a small thing. Money bombs rely on small dollar donors and now really isn't a good time to be throwing money away for anyone.

4.) It's the holiday season during a shitty economy. See #3. People have more things to do with less money right around this time of year.

5.) Money bombs actually take a lot of preparation and laying of groundwork. They don't happen spontaneously. The Duffy camp doesn't look like they've done this. It takes more than just a post on RedState a few days before the event.

6.) No one has ever seemed to replicate the success that Ron Paul had with money bombs. It should be noted that the folks who ran Paul's money bomb weren't officially affiliated with the campaign, which I gather lent a ton of legitimacy to the "grassroots" nature of the effort. In this case Duffy's out there asking for money himself.

The good news for Duffy is that there are no real measures for success with money bombs and therefore no real measures of failure. All partisan cynicism aside, I'm actually quite curious to see what the results are. In the meantime, however, let's look at some expectations.

Duffy is asking folks to pony up $12.16 ... because this event is happening on December (12) 16th. That being the case, I'd imagine that the Duffy campaign needs to clear over $12,160 or $14,000 (or about 10% of last period's total fund-raising effort) for the money bomb to be of any PR use.

Another way they could measure success would be numbers of donors. Let's take an average of $13,000 and divide it by $35, or roughly the average small dollar donation to a political campaign: that gives us about 370 donors. So let's round that out and suggest that if Duffy can pull in 300 donors of any size he'll also have a moral victory on his hands.

These, by the way, are pretty low expectations. The trade-off with money bombs is that they are very public enterprises. If you succeed, everyone knows about it, but if you fail everybody knows about it.

No comments: