Thursday, August 24, 2006

Fudging the numbers

Today's front page Journal Sentinel story on independent spending on television is accurate -- as far as it goes. But it won't be accurate for long. Here's the report:
Ads drown out the candidates
Independent groups outspend Green, Doyle in TV spots

With independent groups outspending the two candidates on television, the Wisconsin governor's race illustrates a fact of life about modern campaigns.

The candidates are just one set of voices among many, sharing the airwaves with allies and enemies outside their control.

The two contenders for governor, incumbent Democrat Jim Doyle and GOP challenger Mark Green, have spent a total of $778,000 this year on broadcast TV in the state's three biggest markets.

Meanwhile, five independent groups have combined to spend $969,000.
However, that ignores what's about to happen, as illustrated in this recent report from WisPolitics:
Gov. Jim Doyle has reserved airtime for nearly $4.8 million in TV ads in markets from Milwaukee to Duluth, according to numbers compiled by WisPolitics and a campaign observer.

The figures show Doyle has about $4.2 million worth of airtime on network TV affiliates, and almost $600,000 of cable advertising.
And Green is now up on TV and says he will stay on until the election, 11 weeks away. His spending will probably be close to Doyle's when all is said and done.

What the candidates' campaigns spend will dwarf what any outside group does. The imbalance exists now because the campaigns have just started their TV buys.

This was a story that had to be written now, because it soon won't be true.


At 10:28 AM, Blogger Paul_Robeson said...

I saw Green's "I'm not extreme" ad for the first time last night, and I have to say that I almost felt bad for him. I understand that the point of the ad is to soften his image, but it does so at the expense of making him look like an incredible dork (for want of a better word).

The image of him bopping along to the iPod (or whatever it is) is really just priceless.

At 10:56 AM, Blogger badgervan said...

I'd say "dork" is about perfect. Why does Green always have that blank look, the dead eyes? He comes off as very robotic and not quite human to me. Scary.


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