When Scott Brown was running for the balance of Ted Kennedy's senate term in Massachusetts in 2010. I was in Boston on business. I arrived on the red eye from LA early on Sunday morning, killed some time, checked into my hotel and caught a nap. I went out had a nice dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, ran into a few people I knew, had a nice time.
Monday morning the day before the election I had to drive out of the city for 35 or 40 minutes for a meeting. I turned on WEEI Sports radio. Scott Brown was on the Dennis and Callaghan Morning Show, for my entire drive, the morning show on a sports talk radio station was all politics. I mentioned it to the guy I was meeting with and he said, "He's on WEEI almost everyday and has been for months, if he's not live, he's on the phone."
The meeting wrapped up and I got in the car to head for my next meeting, WEEI was on, there was Scott Brown on the phone with the hosts, I had to drive for 45 minutes, he was on when I got in the car and he was still on when I parked for my next meeting.
The second meeting was longer and included a nice lunch at an old line steak house (I had Boston Scrod) by the time everything wrapped up it was after 3. I got in the car to head back to the city and WEEI was talking about the Pats. I hadn't been in the car for 10 minutes and guess who showed up live in the studio? Scott Brown.
WEEI at the time was the number one station in 25-54 year old male listeners in Boston.
Brown nipped Martha Coakley in that special election by less than a 100,000 votes. Brown's winning percentage of 3% came from white suburban males, 25-54 years old. Or the WEEI listener.
Coakley spent more money than Brown, but Brown had all that free radio time, for months. He got it not just on sports radio, he was on WRKO the conservative talk station in Boston virtually everyday as well.
The same scenario unfolded in Brown's reelection campaign against Elizabeth Warren, Brown raised more money, had all that free air time but lost by 6.7 percentage points.
My point? It has been calculated that Donald J. Trump has gotten close to a BILLION dollars in free TV and cable coverage since announcing his campaign last year, that's not counting his endless hours of chat time with conservative local and national radio talk hosts. Many of those radio hosts have larger audiences than the political cable shows.