Trump gets thousands of hours of free advertising called cable news stories, the GOP has had twice as many debates as the Democrats have – why is the DNC not working hard to energize Democrats and promote democratic candidates?
You've heard the criticisms before, that Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC are trying to hand the election to Hillary Clinton by not scheduling many debates and scheduling them at times most people aren't around to watch.
Who knows if that's true. But whether you're a Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton or Martin O'Malley supporter, you have to agree that while the intent of the DNC is anyone's guess, it's clear the Democratic National Committee has done far too little to promote its presidential candidates.
Personally, this isn't about picking winners or losers, this is about getting as many people as possible excited about where progressives want to take this country, and about advancing important liberal ideas and policies that will advance the nation. And, quite frankly, as a matter of pride, it's about showing the country as a whole that any Democratic presidential candidate is a far better choice than any Republican to lead America.
Today, Sunday, January 17, at 9:00 PM is the first Democratic presidential debate, and yet, you might not even be aware of it.
The DNC has "promoted" the event over the past 24 hours with all of two Facebook posts and four tweets.
Put this in your calendar for tomorrow night 📆 Fourth Democratic Debate 9pm-11pm ET NBC News and YouTube pic.twitter.com/9Qbpbt0Kwp— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) January 16, 2016
Sadly, even the few social media posts the DNC has put out are ho-hum, boring:
Sure, Democrats are the adults in the political sphere, by far especially this presidential cycle, but there are so many important issues Democrats are passionate about. Why hasn't the DNC does much to mention them? It's like they're not even trying.
And the network that's carrying the debate tonight, NBC, has done far less than Fox News does when it hosts a GOP debate.
Even Fox Business – not even the main Fox News channel, but Fox Business – which hosted the last GOP debate this past Thursday, worked much harder in TV ads and on social media to attract an audience than NBC News and MSNBC have.
And the numbers from previous debates certainly show.
"Missed last Saturday’s Democratic debate?," PBS asked nearly a month ago, about the December 19 debate – that was, yes, the Saturday before Christmas, traditionally one of the busiest holiday shopping days. "You’re not alone: 6.7 million people tuned into the New Hampshire face-off, according to Nielsen ratings. By contrast, 18 million viewers watched the Republican debate, which was held four days earlier in Las Vegas."
It wasn't only those two debates where viewership – a credible measure of interest in candidates, issues, parties, and campaigns – were dramatically, if not exponentially different.
"The first two Republican debates of this cycle – in August and September of this year – each topped 23 million viewers, a new high," PBS reports, adding that the October Democratic debate hit 15 million viewers.
On Tuesday, November 10, the GOP debate drew 13.5 million viewers. By contrast, the Saturday night, November 14 Democratic debate drew 8.5 million viewers.
This tweet from political pundit Gottalaff perfectly puts these numbers in perspective:
You might think, given these pathetic viewership numbers, the DNC (and the networks carrying the debates, for that matter) would pull out all the stops to get voters interested and maybe even excited in watching the debate.
Sadly, you'd be wrong.
UPDATE: As several of our readers on Facebook have noted, there's an NFL game that could run over and take away viewers, and tonight is the premiere of the final season of Downton Abbey, just to make it even harder to get viewers to watch the debate.
Image via The Democrats/Twitter