September 7th, 2016 by Brian Doherty in News
This article was originally published on Reason.
Alternative PAC, a superPAC supporting the campaign of Libertarian Gary Johnson, launched a project called “Balanced Rebellion” last month, as I reported. It was intended to help solve the problem of voters who, while disliking both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, didn’t want to feel that their third party vote helped make the one they hated more win.
The web site for the project and its Facebook page allows voters with a slight Trump preference to pledge to vote for Johnson and be matched with another voter from their state who had a slight Clinton preference, helping insure that a vote for Johnson wasn’t in effect a vote for the candidate they hated more, since they knew both major party candidates had lost a vote to the Libertarian.
The accompanying longform comedy video, in which “Dead Abe Lincoln” dissed Clinton and Trump and sang Johnson’s praises, is the most vital political video of 2016, the PAC announced yesterday. The ad was designed by the Harmon Brothers, already famous for longform comedy videos promoting sometimes unusual products.
They say it has been viewed (at least in part) over 17.3 million times and shared 409,000 times in just the two weeks since its launch. Their press release says in comparison that “Trump’s most popular ad has been shared a little more than 334,000 times in more than two months, and Clinton’s most popular ad has been shared more than 192,000 times in nearly two months.”
Facebook will measure anyone who has the video playing at all as a view, so the PAC provided some more granular numbers on its impact and spread in emails today.
Of the 17,787,252 views, 17,563,845 (98 percent) came from Facebook, and 11,697,520, 66 percent, of those were for longer than the three seconds that Facebook counts. The PAC did some paid promotion, and 38 percent of the views (6.694.040) arose from paid promotion and 11,093.212 were organic.
As far as the matching process, the PAC’s chief Matt Kibbe reports that 33,393 Democrats have signed up and 33,036 Republicans, for a total of 66,429 signed up and 30,819 successful matches made, covering 61,638 people.
Alternative PAC’s total fundraising for this cycle has been almost $1.1 million from over 760 individual donors.
“Social media has leveled the playing field this election cycle,” Kibbe said in the press release. “We may not have billions to spend but thanks to sites like Facebook we’ve been able to reach millions of disgruntled voters with our message and they’ve responded in resounding numbers.”