Experts tell us the internet will forever change how political campaigns are waged. Maybe so, but forever doesn’t start until the 2010 election is over.
If 2008 was the year voters wanted change, 2010 is the year voters want blood.
And if you want blood, you have to go on TV.
Let’s start with a low-risk prediction: 2010 will be the largest midterm election ad spend ever. It will also be the roughest, toughest, meanest, most fragmented cycle ever. Think the Wild West with yard signs.
2010 is also the year of being angry. And this year anger equals money.
The smart money will go where it’s always gone: directly to campaigns, party committees (although the RNC, which has outraised the DNC, may have hurt its fundraising abilities due to a poor choice of entertainment venues), and well-established outlets like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Club for Growth, and others.
But 2010 will see a new kind of financial instrument: angry money.
Angry money hates incumbents. Angry money hates Washington. Angry money hates the political establishment. Angry money wants to see someone’s head on a pike.
This money isn’t heading to the usual places. Angry money donors are taking a tip from the tea party movement and forming their own groups. We could easily have 15 or more semi-organized to very organized groups willing to spend anything from a few thousand dollars to millions and millions. Pick the right race in the right Congressional district and you could wreak some serious havoc for 20 grand or even less.