A Drop in the Buckets….

Spot-On pal Joe Rodota over at Forward Observer – one of California’s better-known political research firms – has a new report out about online spending.

In California, the state that’s home to as many cutting edge computer companies as it is avocado growers, spending online is a lackluster 1% of total budget.

Forward Observer looked at five big-money ballot measures – among them the tobacco tax and the fight over food labeling – which spent a combined $199 million on their efforts.

Of that, $1.9m was spent with online firms.

Compare that the the online budget allocations made by the Obama re-election effort. A full 20% of the campaign’s media budget was spent online, according to an analysis done by Washington, D.C. consultant Patrick Ruffini’s Inside the Cave.

And, of course, online activity can be measured, parsed and analyzed. So while a campaign may be buying an online ad placement, it’s really getting a nice look at how voters react to it’s messaging.

To quote Mr. Rodota: “To compete in the modern era of voter persuasion, funds should shift from television, radio and direct mail to digital campaigns – and the economic analysis, issues research and polling research functions that support them.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.


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