Asymmetrical Money Warfare — Turning An Opponent’s Big Buck Edge To Your Political Advantage
There are two types of political polling going on these days. One measures which Democratic or Republican candidate is ahead in voters’ preference. The other measures which is raising more money.
Both, it seems, are viewed by political pros as equally important at this juncture. If you’re raising more money, in their view, you will have more to spend on tv advertising, and this will ultimately translate into more votes on election day.
I don’t think this need always be true. In fact, just as asymmetrical warfare allows a weaker opponent to turn some strengths of a stronger opponent against the latter in the military realm, I think the same could work well in a political campaign — if an asymmetrical money strategy is followed.
Here’s how this might work.
Your opponent has five or ten times as much money to spend to attack you on the tube. This opponent may be whacking you on issues, on character, whatever. If you take your own one-fifth or on-tenth to respond in kind, you’re probably going to lose.
So you make the asymmetrical response instead. You use this opponent’s big money advantage in judo-like fashion against him.
You don’t say your issues are better. You don’t say you have a better character. You only say to voters that you are being hugely outspent by special interests. If certain names are well known and not all that popular (e.g. the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson) you cite them, or maybe just call your opponent’s funders “people who won’t even identify themselves because they don’t want voters to know the special interests these ads are promoting”
The only issue in this asymmetrical political warfare thus becomes bloated special interests and characters with unpopular character. The superior money advantage of an opponent becomes a disadvantage. Your side becomes “the little guy who won’t front for big money special interests.”
If you can’t raise more money, run against money. Americans love the feisty fighter confronting impossible odds.
And really, if the other guy has five or ten times as much money in a campaign chest as you do, what have you got to lose?