Thursday, May 10, 2007

Is Obama Readying TV Ad Blitz?

From the National Journal Hotline online:

Is Sen. Barack Obama thinking about a major television ad blitz?

Democratic media buyers say that Obama’s media team asked television stations in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada about available ad time and rates.

Robert Gibbs, an Obama spokesman, said the inquiries were "routine" exercises and should not be interpreted as signaling that an actual buy is imminent. He said the media team asked about rates through the end of the year.

Obama’s media team is led by strategist David Axelrod and includes veteran Dem ad-crafter Jim Margolis. Asking about buying time does not mean that time will be bought, but campaigns are generally aware that once they talk to TV stations about purchasing time, their intentions become public.

Sen. Hillary Clinton commands handsome leads in all national polls and leads in three out of the four early primary states. The exception is Iowa, where ex-Sen, John Edwards consistently outpolls the Democratic field. Obama’s team was cheered by a recent Wall Street Journal poll question which suggested that of those Democrats paying close attention to the primary horse race, Obama had the most support.

Judging by the large crowds Obama attracts in locales as varied as Atlanta and Oakland, the excitement that greeted February entrance into the race has not abated. National and private polling shows that Obama seems to have a foothold among Democratic professionals, students, and elite activists, while Clinton does better among blue collar voters, African Americans, and women. In most Democratic primaries, Clinton’s group is larger than Obama’s group.

So far, two Democrats – Ex-Sen. John Edwards and NM Gov. Bill Richardson, and two Republicans – ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Tom Tancredo – have advertised on television and radio this cycle.
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