Slate’s David Weigel writes the Democrats’ strategy that entails bashing David and Charles Koch is a fundraising winner for the Party. Weigel says he has seen “numbers from fundraising e-mails from one campaign that were sent from roughly mid-January to mid-March, pretty bad news cycles for the party. Nineteen e-mails didn’t mention the Kochs. They raised, in total, $48,146.30, for an average of $2,534.02 per message.”
However, he points out that five e-mails made some kind of mention of the Koch brothers. According to Weigel, “Those asks raised $32,668.72, an average of $6,533.74 per e-mail.”
A similar strategy was reportedly discussed by former President Bill Clinton to Obama campaign staffers during the 2012 re-election. According to Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes new Hillary Clinton book HRC:
Obama’s top advisers were floating two ideas about Romney, the more
cliched theme of Romney being a flip-flopper and another portraying
Romney as an extreme conservative who held views aligned with the Tea Party.
Clinton recommended that they focus on the latter. Donors in
particular, he told the crowd, would welcome such a strategy. Besides,
he added, going with the flip flopper tack generally didn’t work.
However, constant attacks on individuals and groups during an election cycle may add money to the war chest, but it does not always equal a bang for the buck. In the last Florida special election Democrats relied heavily upon campaign ads that attacked the Koch brothers. Indeed, Democrat Alex Sink raised more money than her opponent David Jolly. Politifact states, “By contrast, Sink outraised Jolly in money that her own campaign raised. She raised about 80 percent more than Jolly did.” However, it is Jolly who now has the title of “congressman” not Sink.