Gary Johnson and Bill Weld will participate in second CNN town hall on August 3rd

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From LP.org, August 1st, 2016:

CNN will host its second town hall with the Libertarian Party ticket: former New Mexico governor and presidential candidate Gary Johnson, and former Massachusetts governor and vice presidential candidate William Weld, at 9 P.M. ET on Wednesday, August 3.

Anderson Cooper will moderate the one-hour town hall.

Click here for more details.

45 thoughts on “Gary Johnson and Bill Weld will participate in second CNN town hall on August 3rd

  1. Dave

    Great news. Not much advance notice but still nice to see.

    Though even as someone who has a very low view of Dr. Stein, I do think she deserves a townhall of some sort as well. The Greens are polling respectfully enough, and you would think the media would be eager to play up the Bernie or Bust narrative.

  2. Be Rational

    Johnson and Weld need to practice up for this one. Their messaging and delivery were sloppy in the first Town Hall.

    This is a fortunate, unexpected wild card event. Since the J/W campaign has refused to use any effective form of advertising and leverage, they are totally dependent on outside events to promote their campaign. The recent near total melt-down of Donald Trump has left many in the media with a desire to promote an anybody-but-Trump alternative candidate. Some people in the media – including Hillary’s CNN – want to get Johnson into the debates. So, they’re hoping to drive polling above 15%.

    Had the G/W campaign used targeted Major Network Broadcast TV advertising as I layed out before, recent events and coverage by the major evening news programs, that continue to ignore the ticket, would have already pushed their polling above 20%.

  3. robert capozzi

    This is fantastic news!

    Kill it, GJ and WW!

    Be Rational, consider a new pseudonym: I Told You So. 😉

  4. Thomas Knapp

    “Though even as someone who has a very low view of Dr. Stein, I do think she deserves a townhall of some sort as well”

    Dr. Stein’s campaign is (probably mostly correctly) perceived as taking votes out of Hillary Clinton’s hide.

    Johnson’s campaign is (despite numbers showing parity) perceived as taking votes out of Donald Trump’s hide.

    There are other reasons why Johnson will get more attention (he’s a former governor, she’s never held political office; he’s the nominee of the third largest US political party by vote count; she’s not yet the nominee of the fourth), but to the extent that US media prefer Clinton, Stein is going to have a harder time getting earned media.

  5. Just Some Random Guy

    Had the G/W campaign used targeted Major Network Broadcast TV advertising as I layed out before, recent events and coverage by the major evening news programs, that continue to ignore the ticket, would have already pushed their polling above 20%.

    Complete speculation on your part. Really, Major Networks Broadcast TV advertising is really expensive and not particularly cost effective in terms of the amount of people you’re reaching compared to the amount of money you’re spending; one must remember a large portion of the viewers of a show don’t watch the commercials (fast forwarding through them if recorded, using the time to leave the room and do something else, or even just not paying attention). Democrat and Republican campaigns can get away with it because they have so much cash they can spam commercials to make sure people see them, but even then most commercials aren’t directly paid by them. That’s not an option for Gary Johnson’s campaign, which has significantly less money than them.

  6. Tony From Long Island

    Running the “Are You In?” as a few times on TV might have been slightly useful in certain states, it isn’t cost effective. Using social media reaches many more people today.

    I was pleasantly surprised that CNN is giving him another Town Hall. The first wasn’t terrible, though there are certain questions he has hopefully sharpened his answers for.

    Much of this Town Hall will likely duplicate the first in terms of questions. We’ll see how it goes.

  7. Thomas Knapp

    The top news program on broadcast TV is 60 Minutes, with not quite 7.9 million viewers. It’s the third most popular broadcast program this week, according to Nielsen

    If it was rated against cable TV, it would also have come in third this week — behind two Fox News programs and ahead of the other eight news programs that made up the cable top 10.

    Yes, America’s Got Talent exceeded all news programming, but cable has, quite simply, eclipsed broadcast TV in general. And a growing portion of Americans are consuming what TV and news they do consume on the web instead of on broadcast OR cable TV.

    That’s not to say that Be Rational’s recommendations are completely wrong, but the landscape has definitely changed since that strategy was first formulated.

    If I was buying advertising for Johnson/Weld, I’d buy it from the major media outlets that do polling. It would get exposure, and it might also encourage them to include Johnson/Weld in their polls. You can’t reach 15% in the polls if you’re not in the polls.

  8. Thomas Knapp

    “I was pleasantly surprised that CNN is giving him another Town Hall. The first wasn’t terrible”

    The first was a goddamn train wreck — and I’m not even taking ideological or “purist” factors into consideration here.

    Johnson came off as a bumbling, stumbling, stammering, not-ready-for-prime-time amateur, Weld as the smug elitist that every TV viewer would want to punch in the face when he shows up as a talking head on a news show, except that empty suits don’t have faces to punch.

    The only possible saving grace of that show was that Johnson/Weld were probably still at the point where no publicity was bad publicity and any exposure at all meant their polling numbers would increase because a few more people would remember their names. There’s a point where that stops working and you actually have to not completely bomb to get any benefits. I’m not sure where that point is, so I don’t know whether or not Johnson/Weld have reached it.

  9. robert capozzi

    CNN 1.0 wasn’t their best performance, but let’s understand something: DJT is profoundly inarticulate, redundant, highly non-sequitur-prone, and vacuous in his presentation. He also profoundly pompous. HRC is lawyerly and slick, as is BHO.

    Maybe the contrast of a nice man with a good resume could actually get people’s attention.

    OTOH, GJ has gotten much smoother as the weeks unfold. WW’s presentation influence has probably helped, who is probably sharper than HRC but far more homespun in how he phrases and frames his responses.

    DJT’s latest gaffe might, just might, get people to take another look.

  10. Be Rational

    A common misconception, expressed here and believed by many as gospel, is that social media and internet advertising are effective – they are both, in fact, very ineffective. A high percentage of people who use the Internet for news sources and communicate daily on Facebook and other social media actually don’t notice the advertising – at all. They just don’t see it. A majority of ad “clicks” are accidental and the ads don’t register in the eye or mind of the victim who unknowingly clicked and clicked away without seeing the ad – although the advertiser still pays.

    The exception is advertising designed to look like news stories, submitted by the media itself, or paid testimonials from celebrities designed to look like honestly expressed feelings.

  11. Thomas Knapp

    BR,

    Even if social media and Internet ADVERTISING are ineffective (I’ve had varying results from each), it doesn’t follow that social media and other Internet stuff are ineffective in general.

    Sure, a Twitter AD might not be greatly effective (the one campaign I’ve run had a 2.x% click-thru ratio, which in my experience is good by Internet advertising standards), but not all campaign-related communications are ads.

  12. Be Rational

    JSRG – “Major Networks Broadcast TV advertising is really expensive … ”

    ****

    Actually, no.

    TARGETED Major Network Broadcast TV advertising is the cheapest and most effective form of advertising for a nationwide POTUS campaign, like the GJ/WW campaign trying to get on the evening news.

    TARGETED Major Network Broadcast TV advertising is essential to the Ds and Rs since they can’t afford to go nationwide. It is the most cost effective for them as well.

    There has been a near total blackout of GJ/WW on the evening news precisely because of the lack of Major Network Broadcast TV advertising. Targeting key states allows a campaign to get free earned media coverage on the evening news shows – nationwide – while advertising in key, targeted states – which is much cheaper than nationwide advertising.

    The social media play has done very little for GJ/WW.

    *******

    The ONLY thing that is working is the combination of errors of Both Trump and Hillary and the terrible negatives of both candidates – both are not trusted by approximately 2/3 of the electorate.

    … And both have performed even worse than anticipated since the nominating conventions. Hillary with her 4 Pinocchio lies about the FBI report on her emails and Trump attacking the families of deceased military heros.

    Even with these disasters, GJ/WW are blacked out from evening news coverage – the earned media they’ve missed out on by not advertising. GJ/WW still have not given any plausible reason to be covered, because they are still doing nothing to win any Electoral Votes anywhere.

    They needed to advertise to show they were serious and didn’t. So they haven’t yet been covered.

    Only the gift of stupidity and corruption by Trump and Hillary have kept them running, as reported everyhwere, between 7% and 8% in the polling averages.

    *****

    GJ/WW are still a long way from 15% . This CNN replay is nice, but they’ll have to do much better. (And Johnson’s recent comments – misunderstanding the First Amendment and Religious Liberty – have just damaged him in Utah and with the Mormon Vote. It seems that he wants to bat the ball back to Trump and Hillary.)

    Had GJ/WW advertised as layed out here, they could easily have made 20% in the polls by now, they would have been covered on the evening news nationwide, they would have given the media a reason to tell their story, because they would have demonstrated that they are in a position to win Electoral Votes in key states by proving that they have a serious campaign with a plan to win.

    ******

    Now it’s August.
    GJ/WW can still make it – BUT, they will still need to advertise to get to 15% average in the polls.
    This media play will not put them over.
    Of course, it’s always possible that Trump and Hillary will get EVEN WORSE. One or the other could have a complete mental breakdown on live TV.
    Barring such a gift, GJ/WW will still need to earn their media coverage.

    They need to make the major network evening broadcast news on a regular basis.
    That has to be earned.

    They will need to hit all 12 of the states I layed out. Perhaps adding MN as well. They will have to double the dollar amounts I specified for each state for targeted Major Network Broadcast TV advertising and run the ads in August – a poor time to advertise, but after that it’s too late to affect the debate polls. They’ve missed the three best advertising windows.

    Plus, to reach their target audience, they will need to add other special advertising venues – that will specifically work for this race, this team, this year – and that have never been mentioned here: exciting, effective, surprising, a wake-up call, and too good to reveal except to the campaign directly … if I thought there was anyone in campaign serious about winning or with a clue about running a nationwide campaign.

  13. Tony From Long Island

    If Twitter was ineffective, Donald Trump would not be the Republican Nominee. Yes, there’s more to it, but Twitter has been an “uge” part of his “success.”

    As for Mr. Knapp’s comment about how J/W came off during the first town hall, I think we have to evaluate it using two standards.

    The first is from the perspective of those of us who are generally more informed about politics. Then there is the perspective of the average American voter.

    It’s clear and I have always said that Gov. Johnson isn’t the most eloquent speaker. He knows this also. But there’s a reason he was elected twice.

    If I remember, his answer to the woman whose son died of an overdose was rather terrible, but I don’t recall it to be an overall “trainwreck.”

    If someone who says a lot of absolutely nothing (TRUMP) can attract voters (other than the Kool-Aid drinkiers) then Gov. Johnson should be able to also

  14. Sean Scallon

    Don’t be surprised if Trump insists that Johnson and Stein participate in the debate if he’s going to show or that he debates Johnson and Stein separately with Clinton absent . It may be the only way Johnson and Stein get in.

  15. T Rex

    “The first was a goddamn train wreck — and I’m not even taking ideological or “purist” factors into consideration here.”

    ^This.

    Even my conservative dad who is voting for Johnson (*not* a radical libertarian by any stretch of the imagination) commented, “they were not very impressive.”

    Anderson Cooper is a harsh questioner, and this time around they can expect to receive every follow-up question they don’t want to be asked. If Johnson-Weld don’t prepare for this one, they’re screwed.

    Even mainstream reporters seem to roll their eyes when Johnson backpedals on ending the drug war beyond weed. It doesn’t take a radical to sense the wishy-washiness.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    Well, like I said — it’s not the content that I consider especially problematic. I don’t like it, but I’m one of them there “purists,” so it’s not obvious that whether or not I like it is relevant.

    It’s the presentation.

    In the past, I’ve described Johnson as resembling Rodney Dangerfield if Rodney Dangerfield wasn’t funny.

    Libertarian talk radio guy Jason Stapleton just calls him “Mr. Bean,” which also sounds about right, but maybe funnier.

  17. Be Rational

    ” Well, like I said — it’s not the content that I consider especially problematic. I don’t like it, but I’m one of them there “purists,” so it’s not obvious that whether or not I like it is relevant.

    It’s the presentation.” – Thomas L. Knapp

    *****

    Exactly.

    I’m not sure if it’s possible to train GJ to perform better and teach him better responses in two days, but they sure need to perform better.

    Since this program may comprise their best and last hope, they really need to tighten up their message, perform well and not make any mistakes.

    *****

    Another great advantage of a TV advertising campaign – you get to craft your message precisely and reshoot your spot until your performance zings.

  18. Be Rational

    “If Twitter was ineffective, Donald Trump would not be the Republican Nominee. Yes, there’s more to it, but Twitter has been an “uge” part of his ‘success.’” – Tony From Long Island

    *****

    Twitter has been a “uge” success for Trump, but it’s not paid and it’s not advertising. Anyone can twitter – free. But you have to have a huge following, say outrageous, stupid things, and have a reason for the media to pick up your stupid comments and magnify them with free “earned” media, if you’re going to make it a success.

    Trump earned his free media by being rich enough to self-finance his campaign, meaning he would be considered serious, by inclusion in debates and by winning states.

    ******

    Johnson is not rich and cannot self-finance an entire POTUS race, so he needs to show he can raise money.

    Johnson is not automatically going to be included in the debates, so he needs to show he can poll high enough to warrent inclusion.

    Johnson has no secure base of LP states, like the D and R red and blue states, so he needs to show he is doing something to win Electoral Votes.

    Johnson didn’t show the media anything, so he has been blacked out by the major network broadcast evening news programs and has had a small fraction of the media attention devoted to Trump and Hillary. As a result, twitter, facebook and other social media have not worked for GJ/WW as well.

    Social media, Internet ads, even cable TV are what you buy later, after you’ve saturated the airwaves, to fill in hard to reach niches of the electorate.

    *******

    Not running Targeted Major Network Broadcast TV in key states, but relying on the Internet and Social Media – with money as your excuse …

    That’s like opening a hot dog stand, but since you don’t have enough money for hot dogs, you start out with a few packets of catsup and mustard, because they’re cheaper to buy.

  19. Andy

    Tom, I consider their content to be a major problem as well. They are watering down, and in some cases outright misrepresenting, libertarianism to millions of people.

  20. George Dance

    I notice the anti-Johnson crowd doubling down on the story that the last CNN town hall was a “train wreck” (presumably for those who didn’t see it); so (since I’ve added Google Blogger’s new “Featured Post” feature to my blog) I’ve put the UPI story on it up as this month’s “Featured Post”.

    That said, I do agree that Johnson’s performance was awkward – he really has to be more of a politican in terms of messaging, sound bites and all – and he and Weld have to get on the same page.

    They have to prepare for this event – holding a dress rehearsal would be a good idea. Enrolling the Advisory Board on how to “libertarianize” their message better (as opposed to changing it) would be another.

  21. Andy

    The Advisory Board is just a way to “throw a bone” to Johnson/Weld critics I the LP to appease them, but do not expect it to accomplish much if anything.

    This reminds me of the part of the declassified OSS (the forerunner of the CIA) manual on how to sabotage organizations. One tactic is to form committees that do not actually do anything.

  22. Be Rational

    in a new national CNN/ORC poll released today —
    Clinton leads Trump 52 to 43 percent

    Clinton leads Trump by 7 percentage points in a four-way matchup as well, with Gary Johnson garnering 9 percent support and Jill Stein at 5 percent.

    *****
    It will take a pretty amazing performance to get to 15% by way of one CNN Town Hall starting this far back with only a few weeks left before the debate polling.

    Lesson for the LP:
    Advertise early, before voters lock in their preferences.
    Playing catch-up is much more expensive.

    Timing changes everything.

  23. T Rex

    The banner almost looks like a horror movie haha.

    “They’re back!”

    Like most horror sequels, it is dubious whether this will even be as good as the original.

  24. Be Rational

    natural born citizen
    August 2, 2016 at 12:48
    If it’s “targeted,” it’s not network advertising.

    *****

    Back to school bud.

    It’s “network” by being on network affiliates, not small unaffiliated local broadcast or cable stations.

    It’s “targeted” by focusing on key states or key markets, focusing on news programs, focusing on demographic charateristics etc.

    It’s “nationwide” when it covers the whole country.

    We cannot afford nationwide advertising, even the Ds and Rs can’t afford to go nationwide most of the time, and it wouldn’t be cost effective in any case.

  25. Be Rational

    We can, however, target by focusing on key states, setting ourselves up to win electoral votes, and earning free media in the process.

    We can target by focusing on news programs – evening news, morning news, late news – to reach adults, voters, politically interersted individuals, political opinion leaders among peer groups … to raise polling numbers.

    We can target certain programs to reach groups by age, income, education level etc. … to increase polling and search for members, supporters, activists and donors.

    We can target all these ways on Major Network Broadcast TV.

    ******

    About 98% of Americans have TVs in the home but only 78% have cable. 20% can only be reached on broadcast TV. Network affiliates generally simulcast on cable, so that network broadcast TV advertising reaches everyone who choses to watch on cable.

  26. robert capozzi

    BR, I wonder:

    Have you ever tried to write up the BR Plan and send it to Nielson?

    Maybe you can save the day….

  27. natural born citizen

    You’re talking about local broadcast advertising.

    You can’t change the meanings of words by engaging in Random Capitalization. That just makes you Look Schizophrenic.

  28. robert capozzi

    BR and all,

    Here’s a story with Nielson’s winning scenario.

    Maybe he’s partially lifting it from BR, or maybe great minds might think somewhat alike.

  29. Be Rational

    Sorry, nbc, but you are displaying total ignorance of the television industry.

    I have given you the actual defiinitions, and I didn’t use capitalization, I used quotation marks.

    There are “network” TV stations and “non-network” TV stations.
    There is “broadcast” TV and “cable” TV.
    There is nationwide advertising, regional advertising local advertising, targeted advertising … etc. any of which can be network advertising or non-network advertising, broadcast or cable.

    nbc is not NBC

    There are times in life when you should read, listen and learn.
    For you, this is one of those times.

  30. Be Rational

    robert capozzi
    August 2, 2016 at 14:01
    ” BR and all,
    Here’s a story with Nielson’s winning scenario.
    Maybe he’s partially lifting it from BR, or maybe great minds might think somewhat alike.”

    *****

    link ?

  31. ATBAFT

    “Lesson for the LP:
    Advertise early, before voters lock in their preferences.
    Playing catch-up is much more expensive.

    Timing changes everything.”
    ———————————————————————————————————————————
    Yet another reason for moving up the nominating convention so a candidate can be named and more money raised. I’m sure I’m not the only one who withheld donations until it was settled on whom the LP candidates would be.

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yes, Andy, I have a problem with the content too. I just don’t expect that everyone does, because everyone is not a radical or purist like me. Some people are fine with the candidates running against the LP’s platform.

    But good content or bad, the presentation was like drunk karaoke by people who can’t sing even when they’re sober.

  33. natural born citizen

    It is very irrational to lie about your Random Capitalization when it’s right there a few inches away on the screen.

    A station is not a network and a network is not a station.

  34. natural born citizen

    Big-money donors wouldn’t just magically appear with an early LP nomination.

    Most of Weld’s money buddies were waiting for the GOP convention to make sure that they couldn’t stop Trump there.

    If they’re not donating now, they never will.

  35. Trent Hill

    “A common misconception, expressed here and believed by many as gospel, is that social media and internet advertising are effective – they are both, in fact, very ineffective. A high percentage of people who use the Internet for news sources and communicate daily on Facebook and other social media actually don’t notice the advertising – at all. They just don’t see it. A majority of ad “clicks” are accidental and the ads don’t register in the eye or mind of the victim who unknowingly clicked and clicked away without seeing the ad – although the advertiser still pays.”

    If done poorly, this is true. Social Media is pretty ineffective as a form of advertising without truly interesting/engaging content. But, if done right it can have a multiplier effect, as everyone knows.

    Having worked for the last 7-8 years in Digital Marketing, including for candidates in various parties, my suggestion to Gary Johnson would be to run a robust and highly targeted Adwords campaign. This is “pull”, not “push” marketing. Anyone who looks for something related to Johnson, Weld, Libertarian, Libertarian Party, Presidential Candidates, 2016 Candidates, etc–we want to ensure they will read what WE want them to read. Best of all, it would be cheap as dirt and highly measurable. Want to know what $5000 got you? We’ll be able to measure how many forms were filled out on the website, how many calls the office got, how many donations came from the ads, how many requests for more info, etc. Of course, this would have to be supplemental–not the only advertising involved. But, you’d see a noticeable bump anytime an event like this CNN Townhall was occurring. We need to be capturing names and info so that we can get out the vote, not just hoping they “like” us.

  36. Thomas L. Knapp

    When you’ve lost Paul Jacob …

    The Johnson-Weld take, economist Mark Thornton noted, is more libertarianish than libertarian: the pair are “fiscally conservative and socially liberal for Republicans which is great, but they fall short of Libertarian.” This isn’t exactly a shock. Anyone who watched the bizarre CNN town hall with Johnson and Weld will remember that odd moment when Johnson called Democrat Hillary Clinton “a wonderful public servant” and Weld dubbed her a “lifelong friend.” No need to attack Mrs. Clinton personally, of course, but when a Libertarian cannot find one discouraging word about what a President Hillary would mean, it seems they want to appear Democratish. And not libertarian.

    Paul was elected to the Libertarian National Committee from his prison cell — he was jailed for resisting draft registration. He also at one point was the LNC’s national director, chairman of the Arkansas LP, etc.

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard or seen him criticize an LP presidential ticket in public before.

  37. Thomas Knapp

    About 15 minutes in, the town hall has been pleasantly surprising. They aren’t my cup of tea, but not any HUGE stumbles yet, and Weld landed a couple of zingers on Trump (“screw loose … maybe he should consider another line of work like, I don’t know, anything but president of the United States;” he definitely had the audience with him on that).

  38. Thomas Knapp

    Town Hall ends with announcement: Jill Stein gets a CNN Town Hall in two weeks.

    Overall, this one seemed a lot better than the last. They’re still not my cup of tea, and I didn’t catch every second of it, but I didn’t notice any massive fuckups.

  39. José C.

    I saw the town hall and I kept thinking, “Where is the passion? Where is the passion?”

    I am not an anarchist so I do not expect answers such as, “I will abolish public schools, or I want a private military, or there should be no borders, . . .” But where is the spark? Where is the passion? when Johnson or Weld answer questions I do not feel the excitement.

    Michael Peroutka who was the Presidential candidate of the Constitution Party many years ago was master at public speaking and campaigning. I once heard him give a speech as to why he should be elected President and the delivery was very powerful and full of passion. He mentioned the candidates of the Democratic and Republican Parties were doing every thing to help him get elected President. He then contrasted their views with his and why voters should vote for him.

  40. steve m

    The CNN Townhall was viewed by 1.6 million people an uptick of about a quarter million viewers in comparison to Anderson Coopers usual numbers

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