Posted: January 8, 2008 5:25 PM
N.H. Voters to Get Respite After Campaign Ad Blitz
Along with the intensity and anticipation surrounding the nation’s first primary, Tuesday marked something else for New Hampshire citizens to look forward to: an end to the deluge of political television ads.
Candidates ran more than 17,167 television ads in the New Hampshire market over the past year, a record high.
To get a taste, watch the Guardian’s recap of five most broadcast political ads in New Hampshire this week.
But whether voters are paying attention to all the media efforts remains to be seen, as the biggest spenders, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. and former Republican Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, are both fighting to come from behind in polls in the state, instead of sitting securely atop of the field.
Romney trounced his biggest New Hampshire competition on the airwaves over the past year in New Hampshire, with $8 million worth of TV ads, compared to the $4 million spent on ads by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., according to TNS Media Intelligence, a firm that tracks political advertising.
The Republican ad battle in the state has been marked by negative jabs between the two, with Romney going after McCain’s record on immigration, and McCain striking back at Romney’s changing stances on the issues.
Even as the Democrats have struck out at each other during campaign appearances over the last few days, they resisted the urge to go negative in their television ads. As the New York Times reported, some of Clinton’s advisers “pleaded to put a negative commercial against Mr. Obama on the air, but senior campaign officials judged there was not enough time for it to have impact.”
In ad dollars, Clinton edged out Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., spending $5.4 million for his $5 million, reported the Associated Press. Former Sen. John Edwards spent $1.7 million, a result of his smaller campaign budget — a factor that has become something of a badge of honor for him after his second place win in Iowa.
“All those ads that are running, none of those ads are as powerful as you calling your friends and neighbors and saying, ‘I believe in this guy,’ ” Edwards told a crowd in New Hampshire during Tuesday’s primary.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson spent about $500,000, though his ads made a splash as some of the most creative in the race.