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Stations’ Political Ad Bounty Isn’t Over Yet

May 25, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The Democratic race for president may be nearly over, but there are signs its conclusion will kick off a new flurry of political advertising, pushing this year’s record spending even higher.
That’s good news for television stations, which are struggling with revenue declines, and it breaks the customary pattern of a political spending lull that normally occurs prior to party conventions.
The candidates have strong motivations to step up spending. Republican nominee Sen. John McCain may need to separate himself from the current Republican office holder in the face of Democratic attacks that portray him as a clone of President George W. Bush. And Sen. Barack Obama, who leads in the Democratic race, needs to introduce himself and his policies nationally.
Those factors and others are likely to combine to bring an unprecedented airing of presidential advertising throughout the summer, according to Democratic and GOP consultants.
“This campaign was jump-started early and it’s running real hot right through to the end,” said Brian Donahue, senior VP of Jamestown Associates, a GOP consultant. “There is no time to breathe in the 2008 presidential election.”
Political spending on the 2008 presidential race could top $800 million, up from $650 million in 2004, according to research firm TNS Media Intelligence.
In March, TNSMI reported that in 2007, spot sales at TV stations dropped 10.2% to $15.59 billion and that local TV stations’ overall share of the ad market dropped to 11.3% from 12.5% in 2006.
Mr. Donahue said both sides need to get their messages out.
“McCain has to begin to shape the environment on his terms. The Republican party has been tasked with reconfiguring its message. The Democratic party has to move to instill unity. Both parties have to present convincing platforms very quickly,” he said.
Democratic consultant Steve McMahon of Issue & Image in Alexandria, Va., said the Obama campaign’s ability to raise funds and the cash-poor McCain campaign’s lack of ads during the GOP primaries also seem to dictate advertising will surge before the conventions.
“I don’t think there is going to be a break,” he said.
Mr. McMahon said the Obama campaign’s fundraising gives it greater flexibility. “He has a lot of filling in to do to establish a deeper sense of shared values.”
Four years ago, while up to 19 states were in play early, only about a dozen drew heavy advertising.
Consultants and party officials say this time around, Virginia, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada are likely to join Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and New Jersey as major battlegrounds; Wisconsin and Minnesota also could come into play.
While TV stations still are likely to get heavy spending, the more states in play, the more likely it is that the campaigns will turn to the efficiencies of buying national ads.
For the McCain campaign and Republicans, it is especially crucial to take on Mr. Obama now, according to the consultants.
“Barack Obama has done a tremendous job at creating a mega-personality campaign, transcending party and issue lines,” said Mr. Donahue. “Republicans must be issue-based and show his principles are not in line with mainstream America.”
Democrats also need to get out some messages, the analysts said. Top priorities are unifying the party after the Obama-Hillary Clinton fight, winning over Hispanics to Obama and trying to insure that some of the many new voters who registered for the primaries show up to vote in November.
In addition, Sen. Obama has to introduce himself in two important swing states, Florida and Michigan, where his campaign did not run primary ads.
How much money will be spent this summer and whether the ads come from the campaigns themselves, political parties, political committees or special-interest groups isn’t yet clear.
The Democratic National Committee has already launched several ads questioning Sen. McCain’s stances, and DNC Press Secretary Stacie Paxton said there will be more.
“People want change. They don’t want a third Bush term. Clearly on issue after issue, John McCain represents more of the same failed Bush policies,” she said.
The Republican National Committee has launched Web videos, but no advertising yet. Sen. Obama’s level of experience will be an issue, the RNC said.
“From his tax-and-spend economic proposals to his misguided national security policies, Barack Obama clearly lacks the experience and the judgment to be our nation’s commander in chief,” said Amber Wilkerson, the RNC’s deputy press secretary.
Neither McCain nor Obama campaign officials returned several calls to talk about their plans.
Political observers suggest that if, as expected, the Obama campaign elects not to take public financing, most Democratic ads would come from the Obama campaign, the national party and some labor unions’ political committees.
The McCain campaign is expected to take public money, limiting its spending; that likely means Republicans will make more use of funding or ads from groups and political action committees. Spokesmen for several GOP committees said their group’s plans haven’t yet been finalized.
One of the Democratic committees, MoveOn.com, has announced it will be active this year.

10 Comments

  1. DON’T BE DUPED AGAIN AMERICA !!!
    IT’S ABOUT ELECTABILITY !!!
    Large numbers of BUSH_McCain Republicans have been voting for Barack Obama in the DEMOCRATIC primaries, and caucuses from early on with the backing and help of the medical and insurance industry. Under the direction of the George Bush, and Karl Rove vote fraud, and vote manipulation machine. Because they feel Barack Obama would be a weaker opponent against John McCain. And they want to stop Hillary Clinton from fixing the HUGE! American, and Global mess they have created. shocking!!! isn’t it. Just gotta love those good old draft dodging, silver spoon Texas boys. Not! 🙁
    You see, the medical and insurance industry mostly support the republicans with the money they ripped off from you. And they don’t want you to have quality, affordable universal health care. They want to be able to continue to rip you off, and kill you and your children by continuing to deny you life saving medical care that you have already paid for. So they can continue to make more immoral profits for them-selves off of you, and your children’s suffering.
    With Hillary Clinton you are almost 100% certain to get quality affordable universal health care for everyone very soon. And you are also certain to see major improvements in the economy for everyone.
    The American people face even worse catastrophes ahead than the ones you are living through now. It will take all of the skills, and experience of Hillary Clinton to pull the American people out of this mess we are in. Fortunately fixing up, and cleaning up others incompetence, immoral degeneracy, and mess is what the Clinton’s do very well.
    Hillary Clinton has actually won by much larger margins than the vote totals showed. And lost by much smaller vote margins than the vote totals showed. Her delegate count is actually much higher than it shows. And higher than Obama’s. She also leads in the electoral college numbers that you must win to become President in the November national election. HILLARY CLINTON IS ALREADY THE TRUE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE!
    Just look at Oregon for example. Obama won Oregon by about 70,000 votes. But approximately 79,000 Bush republicans switched party’s back in January to vote for Obama in the democratic primary. They are not going to vote for, or support any Democrat in November. Are you DEMOCRATS going to put up with that. Are you that stupid, and weak. The Bush republicans think you are that stupid, and weak.
    As much as 30% of Obama’s primary, and caucus votes are Republicans trying to choose the weakest democratic candidate for McCain to run against. These Republicans have been gaming the caucuses, and open primaries where it is easier to vote cheat. This is why Obama has not been able to win the BIG! states primaries. Even with Republican vote cheating help. Except North Carolina where 35% of the population is African American, and approximately 90% of them block voted for him. African Americans are only approximately 17% of the general population.
    Hillary Clinton has been OUT MANNED! and OUT SPENT! 4 and 5 to 1. Yet Obama has only been able to manage a very tenuous, and questionable tie with Hillary Clinton. This is even more phenomenal when you consider she has been also fighting against the George Bush, Karl Rove vote fraud machine in the DEMOCRATIC primaries, and caucuses. Hillary Clinton is STUNNING!.
    If Obama is the democratic nominee for the national election in November he will be slaughtered. That is crystal clear now. Because all of the Republican vote cheating help will suddenly evaporate. And the demographics, and experience are completely against him. All of this vote fraud and Bush republican manipulation has made Obama falsely look like a much stronger candidate than he really is.
    You will have another McGovern catastrophe where George McGovern lost 49 of 50 states. And was the reason the super-delegates were created to keep that from happening again. Don’t let that happen to the party and America again super-delegates. You have the power to prevent it. The only important question now is who can best win in November. And the answer is HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON. That fact is also now crystal clear.
    And YOUNG PEOPLE. DON’T BE DUPED! Think about it. You have the most to lose. As do African Americans. Support Hillary Clinton. She will do her best for all of you. And she will know how to best get it done on day one.
    The democratic party needs to fix this outrage. Everyone needs to throw all your support to Hillary Clinton NOW! So you can end this outrage against YOU the voter, and against democracy.
    The democratic party, and the super-delegates have a decision to make. Are the democrats, and the democratic party going to choose the DEMOCRATIC party nominee to fight for the American people. Or are the republicans going to choose the DEMOCRATIC party nominee through vote fraud, and gaming the DEMOCRATIC party primaries, and caucuses.
    Fortunately the Clinton’s have been able to hold on against this fraudulent outrage with those repeated dramatic, and heroic comebacks of Hillary Clinton’s. Only the Clinton’s are that resourceful, and strong. Hillary Clinton is your NOMINEE. They are the best I have ever seen. Probably the best there has ever been. 🙂
    “This is not a game” (Hillary Clinton)
    Sincerely
    jacksmith… Working Class 🙂
    p.s. Cynthia Ruccia – I’m with ya baby. All the way. “Clinton Supporters Count Too.”

  2. “Just gotta love those good old draft dodging, silver spoon Texas boys…” Hmmm…what about that Arkansas boy? And, how affordable is something “universal” if we’re taxed to death to support it? Who’s really paying, jack? You sound like you’ve been educated by the liberal schools, and I pity your blind obedience to the Clinton lie factory….cigar, anyone?

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