When Elizabeth Warren said earlier this year she was swearing off fundraisers, many Democratic strategists saw it as a sign of desperation from a flailing candidate.
But that gamble against conventional wisdom — which is paying off handsomely, given the $19.1 million she raised in the second quarter — is far from the only way Warren is defying the traditional playbook for running a modern presidential campaign.
The campaign has gone without an outside polling firm, and says it has no plans to hire one, even though it is standard operating procedure for most serious candidates. Instead of initially stockpiling resources for a homestretch TV ad blitz, she’s amassed a payroll of 300-plus staffers in the early months of the campaign — overhead that could deplete her coffers if her fundraising ever falters.
And now, the campaign told POLITICO that it is shunning the typical model for producing campaign ads, in which outside firms are hired and paid often hefty commissions for their work. Instead, Warren’s campaign is producing TV, digital and other media content itself, as well as placing its digital ad buys internally.
Taken together, Warren’s approach is a rebuke of the consultant-heavy model of campaigns — an often lucrative arrangement in which the people advising campaigns invariably tell candidates that the best political strategy is to buy what they sell, namely TV ads and polling. If carried out for the duration, the moves would create the most robust in-house media production and buying team in recent presidential politics. [Continue reading…]