It's the day before the election, but Mitt Romney still seems focused as much on fundraising as get-out-the-vote efforts. That's the case online, at any rate.
As President Barack Obama floods swing-state news sites, YouTube and Pandora with ads reminding people to vote and helping them find their polling places, the Romney camp is still running lots of online ad messaging aimed at generating donations. However, according to the Romney campaign, the majority of its efforts have transitioned to get-out-the-vote efforts in battleground states; those fundraising ads are showing up in non-swing states.
Pandora users accessing the streaming music site via desktop or mobile in key states may see one of many Obama ads reminding supporters to "Vote for Barack" tomorrow and inviting them to click to "confirm" their polling place.
In keeping with the Obama camp's theme throughout the election season since the start of the GOP primaries, large expandable home-page ads with similar messaging are blanketing swing-state news sites today including Ohio's Cleveland.com, Iowa's Des Moines Register, Flordia's Miami Herald, Virginia's Richmond Times Dispatch and Wisconsin's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Obama's splashy online home-page ads can be viewed by all web users whether they're in a battleground state or not.
Obama for America also bought today's Twitter Promoted Trend, which -- like the one it bought the day of the President's nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention -- highlights the "Forward" theme.
It was only yesterday that the Romney camp was still pushing a fundraising campaign enticing supporters with the chance to join the team on election night in Boston. "It helps power the campaign through the final two weeks," said Zac Moffatt, digital director for the Romney campaign, stressing that fundraising is always part of campaigns.
Indeed, voters outside swing states are seeing fundraising messages from Romney, and that aligns with the campaign's strategy throughout the election, said Mr. Moffatt. "We have a fully integrated GOTV ad campaign," he said. "We've been running absentee ballot and early vote and GOTV ads for up to a month in some places."
"Perhaps, it means more to the Romney campaign to fundraise up to the last minute to fund battleground operations rather than run generic GOTV ads in non-battleground states like [New Jersey]," noted Eric Frenchman, chief Internet strategist at Connell Donatelli/Campaign Solutions, a GOP digital firm, in an email.
For the past few days, Peter Pasi, exec VP of Republican digital shop Emotive, and a resident of closely-watched Virginia, has spotted Romney Victory ads on Politico that link to a donation page and state that Romney's plan is "Putting Jobs First." Recognizing that the campaign is probably running targeted get-out-the-vote ads elsewhere, he suggested, "It would seem to me that Politico's audience would be the least persuadable people in the country." Some of the Politico ads he spotted also linked to a peculiar donation page with pre-filled donation amounts, the lowest of which was $1,000.
"The weird thing is that the gift amounts are so high," said Pasi. "The average donation online is around 80 bucks."
Mr. Moffatt said he wasn't sure why that donation page featured such high amounts, which went from $1,000 to $75,800.