Thursday, December 01, 2011

Why pay for the ads when you can get the media for free

Not sure why anybody is surprised the GOP field is getting off cheap on campaign spending. You don't have to be a quantum physicist to figure it out:
One major difference is a profusion of televised debates -- 11 so far -- negating the need for costly commercials.

“The debates and the daily drama of the Republican presidential primary are the new TV,” said Ken Goldstein, president of Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group in Arlington, Virginia.
For a reality show addicted electorate, this is the best survival series ever. And with print and online media providing the tabloid coverage of the daily "scandal" the only reason to put forward an ad is to grab a news cycle or two. Hell, sometimes they don't even air the ad. They just send it to the media, who will promote it for free.

As a Romney operative notes, “Every day of debates, every day of drama, is a day when Romney doesn’t need to advertise in Iowa.” Which is why Mitt only spent $18 million through September as compared to the $54 million he spent in the same time frame in 2007.

So even as they campaign to "save" America from the evil "socialist" Democrats, the Republicans are screwing the economy. "Advertising in the first two states to hold contests, Iowa and New Hampshire, has plummeted 75 percent." It's not about who can raise the big bucks in this round. In fact, frontrunner of the moment, Newt Gingrich hasn’t run any ads in either state and closed with $1.2 million in debt on September 30.

Of course, this is just the pre-game show. This will still likely go down as the most expensive presidential campaign ever. Once the nominee is anointed, Rove and the other operatives working under cover of Citizen's United will unleash a tsunami of cash to defeat Obama.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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