Nick Ahamed, Director of Analytics and Strategist at Priorities USA did a study on election ads on Twitter. According to a Daily Beast article, they tested 500 ads, but isolated themselves to five ads by The Lincoln Project, the infamous Never Trumpers who made it their goal to destroy President Trump’s re-election and get former Vice President Joe Biden elected. These geniuses also poured money into unseating Senators Susan Collins and Mitch McConnell, and flipping several House seats.
Hindsight says they are 0 for 4, and the first one is still up for grabs. Either way, one didn’t need a test study to see that The Lincoln Project cannot claim any successful track record on this.
The article explains how the “study” was conducted:
“A control group saw no ad at all. Five different treatment groups, each made up of 683 respondents, saw one of the five ads. Afterwards they were asked the same post-treatment questions measuring the likelihood that they would vote and who they would vote for.”
Ahamed claimed the goal of the study was,
“to see if Twitter virality could be used as a substitute for actual ad testing, which took funds and time. If it turned out that what the Lincoln Project was doing was proving persuasive, the thinking went, then Priorities USA could use Twitter as a quasi-barometer for seeing how strong their own ads were.”
Money well spent? Ahamed concluded that it was not.
“According to Nick Ahamed, Priorities’ analytics director, the correlation of Twitter metrics—likes and retweets—and persuasion was -0.3, ‘meaning that the better the ad did on Twitter, the less it persuaded battleground state voters.’ The most viral of the Lincoln Project’s ads—a spot called Bounty, which was RTed 116,000 times and liked more than 210,000 times—turned out to be the least persuasive of those Priorities tested.”
I don’t need a degree in data analytics to tell what Stevie Wonder can see. It’s called “echo chamber” people, like the one that Priorities USA and The Lincoln Project live in.
Twitter is the ultimate echo chamber. You can have interesting takes and get your voice heard on a certain topic or political viewpoint, and those takes might even go viral. It’s a great marketing tool, where you can boost or add to your presence by finding fellow travelers. But I seriously doubt whether any persuasion actually happens. People find their tribe, and they stick with them. When Twitter isn’t censoring the hell out of conservatives, it’s a good place to share ideas and information, organize, and for me and others, it’s a terrific place to network. But I haven’t seen a whole lot of changing of hearts and minds, and in the current climate it is next to impossible.
But you see, Priorities USA and The Lincoln Project knew this. The Lincoln Project wasn’t attempting to persuade anyone; they just wanted to collect impressionable people’s money, and be a burr in Trump’s hide.
The Twitter ads were targeted to fundraise from gullible Democrats. Same people who donated to Amy McGrath's campaign.
— No Malarkey Is Your President (@NJ_SoulBrother1) December 9, 2020
The Lincoln Project co-founder Reed Galen was quoted in the article admitting exactly that:
“ ‘We were pretty clear from the get go about the lanes of our strategic outreach. The first one, which made the most noise, was for the audience of one. That was the stuff directed at Trump, the campaign, the White House, and the family. The stuff we knew would distract them, make them angry, make them fight internally, make him fire Brad Parscale, sue us, whatever it was so their attention was pointed elsewhere,’ said Galen. ‘The second one, is a lot of the stuff we did in Electoral College states, a lot of times we didn’t even release it on Twitter. But we understood, nobody better than us, that Twitter was a bullhorn that from our perspective drove what we did against Trump, sometimes into his head, and sometimes into the narrative that the press was observing and creating, and gave our 2.7 million people on Twitter the energy they craved.’ ”
Yes. “Strategy” means understanding what will be effective along different axes of attack.
Driving Trump batty on his health makes him react badly.
Reminding voters of what they’ve lost, because of Trump, reminds voters he’s a failure and didn’t deserve a second term. https://t.co/uY7RAYfl37
— Reed Galen (@reedgalen) December 9, 2020
They separated a lot of people from a lot of money in order to troll Trump. What’s more frightening is that they consider this effective strategy.
Trump did some of the best campaigning by a politician in any political race. He commanded the bully pulpit, created enthusiasm that overflowed outside venues and created viral parades and marches in the midst of a pandemic. After all The Lincoln Project’s “serious” ads and ridiculous posturing, 80 million voters still cast their vote for Donald J. Trump. In what universe is what The Lincoln Project did effective?
The concluding take from Amahed is pure derp:
“ ‘Our takeaway is that we as political operatives or people online on Twitter a lot, aren’t necessarily a good judge of what is persuasive.’ ”
No sh*t, Sherlock. And it took you an entire study to come to that conclusion. Give that man a raise!
Rick Wilson is an editor-at-large at The Daily Beast, and a frequent carbuncle on the ass that is CNN, so I suspect this was a piece commissioned by him to continue to justify The Lincoln Project’s fetid existence.
Wilson claims on his Twitter bio to be an “Ad guy”. Not something I’d proudly display, but whatevs. Guess he can add that to his list of other accomplishments which include co-founder of The Lincoln Project (ding! ding!), and Republican strategist. Along with fellow traveler Steve Schmidt, there’s no campaign he’s signed onto that he can claim the candidate won. Seems Wilson’s greatest success is separating people from their money.
This entire study was just an excuse to explain away The Lincoln Project’s penchant to burn money and righteous indignation, but do little else.
It is seriously time that these foolish Pretenders of Democracy leave the stage and slink back into the hole they crawled from. The Daily Beast should be ashamed that it gives Wilson’s dangerous mind a platform.
My colleague Jeff Charles outlines the height of Wilson’s and this group’s delusions of grandeur:
“However, it appears that the members of the Lincoln Project, spent millions of dollars on ads designed to influence voters to give the presidency and the Senate to the Democrats, missed something critical in this election. While the future of the Oval Office might be uncertain, despite the fact that the corporate press declared Biden the winner, the GOP still made tremendous gains in this election.”
Susan Collins is still the sitting Senator of Maine. Mitch McConnell is still the sitting Senator of Kentucky and most likely will remain Majority Leader. Republicans flipped 9 House seats and did not lose one. Georgia’s Senate seats are still in play, and so is the Presidential election. If this brain trust worked for a corporation, he’d be out on his ear without a compensation package. But ole Rick continues to fail upward, just like the good Democrats he now champions.
Wilson and his crew encouraged doxing attorneys representing the Trump administration in their election challenges, until Twitter had to make them stop. Wilson also never ceases to take to his favorite network to ream Trump supporters with egregious and disgusting references, as my colleague Mike Miller noted.
Both Wilson and Galen are sharing The Daily Beast article and hailing it as if it’s some great piece of journalism, along with making excuses on Twitter that their ads met their target. Failure to persuade? No, no, it was deliberate—we didn’t really want to persuade anyone—we just wanted to own Trump and the Republicans! See what we did there? Aren’t we clever?! Hah, hah, hah!
The Lincoln Project didn’t argue with the conclusions. They had two tracts of ads, as they saw it. And the ones going viral on twitter weren’t supposed to change someone’s mind in PA. pic.twitter.com/QYTF2BtcV3
— Sam Stein (@samstein) December 9, 2020
What is truly jaw dropping is that The Lincoln Project ads came in No.4 for Ad Age’s Marketer of the Year award.
I. Kid. You. Not.
We were led by @reedgalen and a brilliant group of contributors under the leadership of @TheRickWilson and @stuartpstevens. pretty cool award for all the creative work. Congrats everyone! https://t.co/2AacEoRNfU
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) December 8, 2020
With trifles like this, these grifters will only keep trafficking in their delusions, the biggest one being that they’ll have any part in the “Resurrection” of the Republican Party.
Keep sniffing that pricey glue, boys.