Gov. Phil Scott’s re-election campaign has been sleepwalking through the 2022 campaign, barely bothering to raise money and spending very little.
The Scott campaign’s recent financial disclosures show that, with very little time remaining, Team Scott has seriously kicked it into overdrive.
Between October 27 and November 4, the Scott campaign filed five Mass Media spending reports, totaling $63,471. That’s more than they’d spent on mass media in the entire cycle before then. The media buys break down like this: $45,086 for TV, cable and streaming ads, $1,142 for Facebook ads, and $7,513 for newspaper ads.
In the six weeks before that big splurge, the Scott campaign had spent less than $10,000 on mass media.
Why spend so much so late? In fact, almost too late? The impact will be limited because so many have already voted. Did they get a bad poll?
More numbers. The campaign took in $56,708 in donations between mid-October and November 4. The combined total from Day One to October 15 was less than $200,000.
The spending numbers are even more stark. Between October 15 and November 4, Team Scott spent $85,683. For the entire cycle before October 15, the campaign had spent only $102,339. That’s a huge jump in activity.
Last time we saw something like this was 2014, when Peter Shumlin took his re-election for granted until the very end. He then opened the floodgates after internal polling showed an extremely tight race with Scott Milne.
Could it possibly be happening again? I’ll believe it when I see it. If his team was really in an existential panic, they could have spent much more.
Still, this is a turbocharged acceleration from a campaign that had barely gotten into first gear before now. If it’s not an outbreak of the cold sweats, why is Team Scott doing this? I can’t explain it.