The GOP-promoted Twitter hashtag #FullRepeal is trending as the party and its presidential nominee Mitt Romney collaborate to turn today's Supreme Court ruling on healthcare into a Twitter-fueled online fundraising windfall.
As of around 11 this morning, the Romney camp had raised $100,000 - presumably online - following the ruling to uphold President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. Around 20 minutes later, Press Secretary Andrea Saul tweeted another fundraising milestone: $200,000 in "organic' donations. Around 15 minutes later, Saul bumped it up to $300,000 raised. Forty minutes after that, she pegged it at $375,000.
The fundraising campaign is anything but organic. In addition to running paid tweets using the #FullRepeal hashtag, the Republican National Committee is pushing out a video and microsite attacking "Obamacare."
"The final verdict on the Obama healthcare law is now in your hands," begins a text-driven 1-minute video that pans the healthcare law as one that will harm small business and threaten "fundamental freedoms." The video is on YouTube and the GOP's PeopleVObamacare.com.
The MittRomney.com site also backs the message. "Obamacare Upheld - Elections have consequences," states a large image displayed on the homepage. Evidently, those consequences come in the form of donation dollars.
Republican-leaning small business group The National Federation of Independent Business is also banking on the ruling to drum up donations. A promoted tweet targeted to people searching Twitter for Obamacare related terms reads, "Our fight for real reform does not end with today's #SCOTUS ruling," and features the #RepealAndReform tag.
One wonders what will become of the videos and email copy created to respond to alternative rulings - the virtual versions of those Super Bowl T-shirts touting the losing team that get shipped off to impoverished kids in war-torn lands.
The Obama campaign, on the other hand is not milking the ruling for donations on Twitter or Facebook - yet anyway. The @Obama2012 reelection Twitter account has remained silent today.
Still, although OFA is not pushing out any messages about the decision upholding the administration's controversial law, people who search Google for "Obamacare" will see a sponsored result from the Obama camp. The ad drives people to a page on the campaign site that reads simply, "I like ObamaCare and I want everyone to know." Rather than helping people share that declaration in support of the law in social media circles, the page merely features an email sign-up form that links to a donation page.
The lack of social media and online ad promotion of the ruling backing the president's healthcare law is almost certainly strategic. Romney and the Republicans can use it to harness anger among anti-Obamacare conservatives and rake in donations. However, perhaps because recent polls show more Americans oppose the law than support it, OFA is taking a cautious approach to using it as a campaign issue.
Instead, the Obama camp appears to be sticking to local swing state issues needed to persuade voters in battlegrounds. The most recent @Obama2012 tweet was made yesterday and promotes a video aimed at Ohio voters that suggests Romney does not support firefighters, teachers, and police.
On Facebook, Obama reaffirmed a recent campaign theme claiming that he "will be the first president in modern history to be outspent in his re-election campaign," and asking for donations to "help close the gap."
Not all Democratic organizations are ignoring the Supreme Court ruling today. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is aiming for email sign-ups from supporters of the healthcare law. "Do you heart Obamacare? Get the sticker here!" exclaims a tweet that links to a sign-up form collecting contact information in exchange for an "I [heart] Obamacare" bumper sticker.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
March 19, 2014