TV Time

The NYT's took a look at where the candidates are buying TV time, from June 3rd through July 26th. Now, watching where the candidates shift in their ad buys from the summer to the fall is always a telling measure of how the race has shifted. In 2004, for instance, Kerry was airing ads in MO in the summer, but dropped out of them by the fall. I don't expect, given the late start and the tremendous amount of money being spent, that 2008 will see candidates leave a state, but we will see shifts in the allocations.

So this will serve as a sort of benchmark.

McCain has been airing ads in 13 states since the beginning: CO, IA, MI, MO, NV, NH, NM, OH, PA, VA, MN, WV and WI.  But with his recent "Celeb' ad, he's dropped MN and WV from the ad buy. I'm not sure why he was in WV to begin with, but the NYT's numbers show Obama made a investment in WV, along with ND, and McCain made one as well. It may be a border state issue (I've not looked into the media markets for WV). As for MN, now there's a first clue as to a state that McCain might be cutting his losses early. Obama is not spending anything in MN-- its considered 'turf'.

Lets look at how both campaigns are trying in other places to move onto new turf.

Obama is airing significant ads in 4 states that they are trying to move on the map, and 3 others with insignificant amounts, all of which are 00/04 red states, and which McCain is not responding. These states are FL, GA, NC, IN, and in MT, & AR.

In FL alone, Obama has spent $5M to McCain's 0, and in total, Obama is at about $10M plus in these four states (FL, GA, NC, IN), while McCain nothing to date. There was a lot of discussion about whether Obama would just throw in the towel for Florida, but he's clearly making a run for it, as he's spent more on TV in FL than any other state to date against McCain.

Then there are the red states that Obama is buying in that McCain is already buying in too, OH, VA, MO, CO, and NV. Obama has made a significant investment in VA and IN, but nothing in Kansas. If that means anything, it bodes well for the VP chances of Kaine and Bayh, and less so for Sebelius.

As for McCain, aside from the gambit in MN, he's making buys in the 00 or 04 blue states of PA, MI, WI, IA, NM, and NH. Significantly, he's spent $5M in PA, and his top three states, PA, OH, MI, a combined $8M ($14M with the RNC). McCain is really trying to put PA on the map, and Obama has responded by spending $4M in the state.

McCain's strategy in nut shell: Try to not have to play defense in the 00/04 red states of FL, GA, NC, IN, while already playing defense in the 00/04 red states of OH, VA, MO, CO, NV, and meanwhile, play offense in 00/04 blue states of WI, PA, MI, and also in the mixed red-blue 00/04 states of IA, NM, NH.

Given McCain's investment into PA, I think we have to believe he's seriously considering Ridge for his nominee. In fact, its easy to see how, from McCain's perspective, the campaign becomes all about the battleground states of MI/OH/PA. Further that, as long as they keep the states they are not airing in (FL, GA, NC, IN), while winning in MI/OH/PA, they cold lose all of the other states they are defending (VA, MO, CO, NV, IA, NM, NH), and still come out ahead 274 - 264. That's a tall order, for McCain to win in MI and PA, but I think that's where their head is based on the media buys.

For Obama, its a pretty clear shot, as long as MI and PA stay blue, and the other 04 states are blue as well, that's his base. Then, he's very strong in IA and NM, and after adding those in, he need just win any other state and he's over 270. And with that in mind, he's buying in NV, CO, MO, IN, OH, VA, GA, NC, and FL. Adding in any one of those 9 states, in this scenario, and Obama would win.

Tags: Barack Obama, John McCain (all tags)



Re: TV Time

Jerome Armstrong where have you been?

Now THIS is a great front page post.

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-30 08:36PM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

Tom Ridge is definitely McCain's first choice... why?  McCain and he are friends, Ridge was a popular governor, McCain thinks he would be great, and it's absolutely the worst decision McCain could make, so expect it to happen! :-)

Ridge is old news in PA and wouldn't bring much to the table... he's a reasonable republican, which means the wingnuts won't like him (although McCain's base strategy seems to be, "Forget about me... Hey! Look at that scary black man!")... he's also very old news, having been out of PA politics for a very long time....  He also has no money or money connections...

Ridge won't give McCain PA... when Rasmussen has leaners go for Obama in PA, there's not much of a chance to work that state positively...

But, I certainly hope he chooses Ridge!  I'm sure McCain would think it's a brilliant move!  which, of course, would make it a horrible one!

by LordMike 2008-07-30 08:37PM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

He would pick Romney .

I believe he is not even considering ridge.

PA would remain blue even with Ridge.

However with Romney on the ticket I believe Mccain would likely win Michigan.

And Romney would likely bring in CO , NV .

MI , CO , NV are just  1 - 3 points either way right now

PA is not a real battleground state in my view.

by lori 2008-07-30 08:50PM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

I've never understood this idea that Romney would put McCain over the top in Michigan.  Is it because of his father?  That seems like a stretch to me.  He's the Mormon ex-governor of Massachusetts; his ties to Michigan seem to be a lot weaker than his ties to Massachusetts and Utah.  Not to mention that his presence on the ticket might scare away evangelicals in tossup states such as Virginia.

by rfahey22 2008-07-30 08:59PM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

Romney name is very popular in Michigan , its a home state.

Local democrats I talk to in Tennessee are praying its not Romney because all of a sudden CO , NV and MI becomes more of a battle.

Most reports I have heard implies that Mccain is strongly thinking of Romney because of the those 3 states the economy and fundraising. The only stumbling block is the personal relationship which seems to be getting better .

The only poll I have seen pairing Mccain with Romney in MI is the surveyusa poll and the results speaks for itself, rt.aspx?g=52d98ca6-6c14-4f4a-9180-4e7f1f ce8a1a

" Not to mention that his presence on the ticket might scare away evangelicals in tossup states such as Virginia."

 - The prospects of an obama presidency is enought to get them to the polls.

by lori 2008-07-30 09:10PM | 0 recs
Those surveyusa polls

lack much credibility considering that Edwards seemed to give Obama an outrageous boost.  The gender gaps in some of those polls were around sixty points.

I would love nothing more than for McCain to choose Romney and that has nothing to do with his religion.  There's a reason why the guy won so few states despite spending so much of his money.  Romney may be a further nail in the coffin for McCain's "maverick" brand though McCain has largely become irrelevant anyway.  Imagine those McCain v. McCain, Romney v. Romney ads.

by Blazers Edge 2008-07-30 09:13PM | 0 recs
I'm from Michigan, and Romney isn't

that popular there, except among Republicans.

His Dad ("I was brainwashed") George Romney was Governor about 40 years ago, and most people don't remember him any more.

Michigan is a BLUE state, and it will go for Obama, but Obama does have to spend some time and money there.

If Obama loses Michigan, he blows the election.  Michigan is a Democratic State.

by enthusiast 2008-07-30 09:39PM | 0 recs
p.s. Hilary would help Obama in Michigan.

and a lot of people, including myself, were glad she gave Michigan the honor of remaining on the ballot.

Michigan felt dissed by Obama for taking his name off the ballot and not campaigning there.

So he's got to make up for that.  A lot of people in Michigan felt dissed, and pissed, and he has to soothe their wounded pride, show some interest in them to sew up the State.

by enthusiast 2008-07-30 09:41PM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

For what it's worth, the few Michigan polls taken in May showed McCain beating Obama, per (which would sort of make sense, since there was no real primary there).  So, the data seems to be more than a little outdated.

by rfahey22 2008-07-30 09:20PM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

Sure , there are no recent pairings .

However recent polls in MI have Mccain within striking distance 2 to 4 points behind .

If he adds Romney , he might be able to get over the hump.

Plus Romney brings some sense on the economy , fundraising and maybe co , nv , plus he would energize the conservative base .

Hannity , Limbaugh , Levine , Reagan , Savage , Ingram have all been pushing Romney all over the radio and their audience seem to agree with the idea .

Why not pick him?

Plus Mccain was on radio two days ago and he told hannity he would like his vp pick ,since he has been shilling for Romney and hasn't been thrilled about Ridge . I suspect it would be Romney.

Tom Ridge just angers the conservatives and he doesn't bring in PA and Pawlenty doesn't bring in Minnesota either .

I don't see how its not Romney.

by lori 2008-07-30 09:30PM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

Romney's name helped him some in the MI primary, but what really put him over the top was McCain's pledge that "Jobs will not return to Michigan"... McCain was leading Romney before that gaffe, so it's not like Romney would make Michigan a lock in any way shape or form...

Democrats are getting an unfair rap in MI, but, I tell you what... the union and former union folks who may be "unsure" of Obama are certainly sure of McCain/Romney's take on trade...

I do think that Romney is the most likely candidate, 'cos of the money, mostly...

by LordMike 2008-07-30 09:29PM | 0 recs
Didn't Obama

say something similar about the jobs not coming back during the PA primary?  I'm sure McCain didn't just leave it at the "jobs are not coming back."  There may have a "but..." in there just as there was when I believe Obama made a similar statement.

by Blazers Edge 2008-07-30 09:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Didn't Obama

The quote was, "I"m going to give you some straight talk right now.... the old jobs aren't coming back to Michigan.  We're going to try and prepare for the new jobs... blah blah blah"

A few days later, realizing his colossal blunder, he retracted the statement and claimed to be a friend of Detroit and manufacturing.  It was too late... he tanked in the polls and lost the primary.

This was the political equivalent of calling somebody's baby ugly.  Michigan IS the "old jobs"... it's what made Michigan great!  Yeah, everyone there knows that the "old jobs" aren't coming back, but, just like that ugly baby, you don't tell someone that without being more diplomatic about it, at least!  And then you add insult to injury by using the 30 year old line about "new jobs" that everyone knows never actually come...

by LordMike 2008-07-31 04:26AM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

This poll isn't testing Romney.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-07-31 02:34AM | 0 recs
Romney & Michigan

If Romney is such a big damn draw here, how did McCain manage to scare the crap out of Romney in the primary by, literally, showing up the last week and doing a couple townhalls in places like Fowlerville?  McCain ran no real campaign here.  As I remember it, there was considerable last minute handwringing about what it would mean if Romney lost Michigan.

The only people in Michigan who recognize the name are over 50 and the only ones who have any great attachment to the name are voting McCain anyway and most of them never forgave George for being "brainwashed."  It's not like the dude was beloved or anything and Mittens is hardly seen as a native son.

If you are working class or being screwed by the economy here, Mittens the Multi-Millionaire Mormon is as about as appealing as Dick DeVos.  I imagine a couple dozen people in Grand Rapids will get the vapors and volunteer, but beyond that I just don't see the name helping the ticket all that much.

The stronger position on the ECONOMY STUPID is going to carry Michigan.  VPs won't make a tinkers damn bit of difference.  The key in Michigan?  J.O.B.S.  

With the registration efforts going on now, I'd worry much more about GOP dirty tricks on election day in places like Detroit, Benton Harbor, Flint and Saginaw.  THAT'S the only way we'll lose Michigan.  


by grassrootsorganizer 2008-07-31 02:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Romney & Michigan

McCain has campaigned in MI, you must not remember 2000.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-07-31 06:37AM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

Romney wouldn't help McCain in Colorado. Quite the opposite, probably.

by Angry White Democrat 2008-07-30 10:48PM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

McCain can't choose Ridge because he's prochoice and James Dobson - who can't stand McCain to begin with - would cut McCain's nuts off.

by bob fertik 2008-07-31 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

What is great for us is that, in addition to the ad buys, Obama has invested heavily in the ground game.  It's my understanding that he is far ahead of McCain in this regard.

by rfahey22 2008-07-30 08:40PM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

Great breakdown and really thoughtful analysis, and I think you could very well be right about Ridge given McCain's actions in PA.  This post made my brain hurt.. in a good way.

by thatpurplestuff 2008-07-30 08:41PM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

I don't see McCain taking PA or MI. OH maybe , but those other two are illusionary. They have the appearance of being battle grounds, but they won't be.

by bruh3 2008-07-30 08:43PM | 0 recs
Winning just

Nevada will get him to 269, not 270, but you right that in the event of a tie, Obama will probably win.

Let's hope we are not up the early morning of November 3rd, hoping that the gamblers remembered to vote in Las Vegas.

by Blazers Edge 2008-07-30 08:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Winning just

Yea, you are right.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-07-31 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

I'm pretty sure WV markets hit southern Ohio.

by davisb 2008-07-30 08:59PM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

And SW PA.  I went to College in SW PA and we watched the Wheeling stations as well as the Pittsburgh stations.   I am sure those Wheeling stations are cheaper to buy ad time

by gavoter 2008-07-30 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: TV for free

Right. WVa just bleeds TV signals in every direction, almost none of them wasted for McSame. Those Ohio counties across the river are good territory for Repubs, and even Southwest PA. And some signals carry across the hills into westernmost VA, also a battleground state. (Not to mention KY, not a battleground.)

So McCain gets to tell his troops, few as they may be, that he's on the air in WVa, meanwhile getting freebies in three neighboring states.

by Woody 2008-07-31 07:53AM | 0 recs

I see your concern here, but McCain is shaky in some Bush-Red states and Obama is shaky in... some Bush-Red states.  

I'm hoping for the max turnout which the Obama voter registration drive promises, but why would I take up right-wing talking points?

by xeju 2008-07-30 09:08PM | 0 recs
Ads in Atlanta

I can tell you that I have seen several Obama ads on TV here in Atlanta.  I can not fully remember the last time I saw a Democrat run an ad here, it was probably 1992.

by gavoter 2008-07-30 09:11PM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

I love the high comedy that Romney will tilt 3 states, the most influential VP nominee of all time. Meanwhile, remember when we were desperate to run against Romney? Those commercials write and edit themselves, one defining flip flop after another.

Romney simply would be the target of more opposition commercials than the typical VP choice.

by Gary Kilbride 2008-07-31 12:25AM | 0 recs
The most influential VP nominee of all time.
Interesting Question.
My vote would be for Cheney, with Bush and LBJ close behind.
by Judeling 2008-07-31 12:48AM | 0 recs
WV media

Western WV media (Huntington, the largest WV city) reaches South and East Ohio, East Kentucky and Wheeling markets reach West Pennsylvania and E Ohio.

If you wanted to target S and E OH and W PA, you should do some media buys in WV.

by bakho 2008-07-31 04:47AM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

Thanks for the inciteful breakdown Jerome.  This was really helpful, and does show just how different the two candidates' strategies are.  

by HSTruman 2008-07-31 05:25AM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

To the extent that exciting the Republican base is still a concern for McCain -- and it is -- nominally pro-choice Tom Ridge can't be the VP nominee.  He needs to give those folks some red meat.

by Adam B 2008-07-31 06:12AM | 0 recs
Re: TV Time

RE: Romney as VP will win CO, NV, MI etc.

I don't think people are thinking very clearly about the Romney effect.

First they need to look at demographics. Colorado's Mormons make up about 2% of the population. In Nevada, the number is 3%. In Michigan, somewhere around 1%. The Mormon population in this country is still concentrated in Utah, southern Idaho and northern Arizona. While the church has made inroads throughout the country (and the world) its percentage of population in any state other than these three is minimal. (Oregon has 4%, for example.) And in these other states, the Mormon population tends to be concentrated in one or two counties.

Second, they need to look at who those voters are. Just how many Mormons do you think are ready to vote for Obama unless Romney joins the GOP ticket? The Mormon religion and, at least as important, its community culture tend to be fairly conservative, certainly on most social issues. The number of vote changes Romney would bring in this population is probably minimal.

Third, people talk about Romney's money being a big asset for the ticket. After the nomination, McCain is committed to public funding only. I haven't looked this up, but I'm betting the commitment is for the ticket and not just the top candidate on the ticket. And the time left for Romney money to come in AND BE USED before the convention is shrinking every day.

by anoregonreader 2008-07-31 10:42AM | 0 recs


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