- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 30, 2020

There is no grander or greater spot for advertising than the Super Bowl, which draws a massive audience, with TV viewer numbers soaring as high as 114 million. It is not surprising that President Trump has dropped a cool $10 million to take out not one but two slick commercial spots to air during the game. Mr. Trump’s campaign released a 30-second preview of the spirited outreach titled “Stronger, Safer, More Prosperous” complete with patriotic images and uplifting footage from the president’s campaign rallies.

“America wanted change, and change is what they got,” a narrator intones.

“The best is yet to come,” Mr. Trump advises toward the end of the spot.

But wait. Another billionaire in the 2020 presidential race is also muscling in on Super Bowl territory. Mr. Trump has already got competition for the gridiron audience. Democratic presidential hopeful Michael R. Bloomberg has also bought time on the Super Bowl with a 30-second spot pushing his gun control agenda. He, too, released a preview of his campaign ad just minutes after the Trump ad hit public radar just 24 hours ago.

The presidential bout itself, meanwhile, is expensive for both of them. So far, Mr. Bloomberg has spent $287 million for broadcast and online campaign ads, while the Trump campaign has shelled out $53 million, according to Kantar/CMAG, an industry source.



But how do the pair stand in billionaire land? Forbes recently revealed the financial particulars of the world’s 2,153 billionaires, of which 607 currently reside in the U.S. Mr. Trump is worth about $3.2 billion at the moment, unchanged from a year ago, Forbes says. Mr. Bloomberg has $55.5 billion. He has already indicated he would spend at least $500 million “to defeat Donald Trump in 2020.”

But the takeaway here is that money can buy expensive campaign spots. It does not always move hearts and minds, however. Though Mr. Bloomberg is a faithful philanthropist, was an able city mayor and is a self-made man, he is still languishing near the bottom of the list of Democratic hopefuls, even as Mr. Trump takes care of the White House business, produces laudable results and stays ever near to his millions of motivated, devoted, voting fans who can’t wait for Election Day.

That comes under the category of things money can’t buy.

SUPER BOWL: THE STARTLING NUMBERS

A new in-depth analysis of Super Bowl LIV reveals that 5,800 journalists are expected to cover the game Sunday, which makes one wonder if the number of that many members of the press will also cover the presidential election. But no matter. The analysis has much more to consider. It has been issued by WalletHub.com, which bases this projection on information gleaned from ESPN, Fox Sports, the National Retail Federation, AmericanGaming.org, TicketIQ and other industry sources.

Here are some more stats from the big game. Close to 23 million people are expected to bet on the Super Bowl this year, legally wagering $325 million. Somewhere between 98 million and 114 million people will tune in to witness it all on Fox. For anyone who wonders, 23% of Americans say they like Super Bowl ads rather than the game itself. That said, Anheuser-Busch has spent $441.3 million on Super Bowl advertising since 2006, even though 80% of the fancy commercials “fail to change consumer opinions about brands,” the analysis said.

Americans themselves will buy 51.7 million cases of beer to last them through Sunday; the top Super Bowl eats are wings, pizza, nachos, dip, chili and barbecue, in that order. Each viewer will scarf down an estimated 6,000 calories during their football feast.

And last but not least, 52.4% of American now believe that Super Bowl Monday should be a national holiday.

BIDEN’S THREE-STATE STRATEGY

Here’s succinct insight into one Democratic hopeful’s master campaign plan as the 2020 presidential race fires up and starts a slow but frantic roll toward Election Day.

“Former Vice President Joe Biden feels boxed in when it comes to campaigning in New Hampshire by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. So he is putting his chips on three states where he is especially strong: Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina,” says Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and a former consultant and resident scholar for Democrats in both the House and Senate.

A potentially disappointing development could loom for New Hampshire in the meantime.

“New Hampshire’s historically pivotal role may be less decisive in 2020 than in any previous presidential year,” predicts Mr. Baker.

NO TO A POROUS U.S. BORDER

“Voters still favor tough border control and say it’s too easy to get in and stay in the United States illegally,” notes a new Rasmussen Reports poll which found that 52% of likely U.S. voters think it is better for the U.S. to “tightly control who comes into the country.”

Just over a third disagree and say it’s better for us to open our borders to those eager to live here — “as long as they are not a terrorist or criminal,” the pollster said. Twelve percent are not sure about the issue. The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted January 27-28.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

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POLL DU JOUR

26% of U.S., voters say it is “somewhat likely” that Republicans will win back the House; 38% of Republicans, 22% of independents and 14% of Democrats agree.

19% say it’s “very likely” they win back the House; 38% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 7% of Democrats agree.

22% say it’s “not very likely” they win the House; 8% of Republicans, 20% of independents and 37% of Democrats agree.

12% say it’s “not likely at all” they will win; 2% of Republicans, 8% of independents and 26% of Democrats agree.

23% are not sure about the issue; 14% of Republicans, 34% of independents and 16% of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 19-21.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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