LRC News

Friday, October 24, 2008
New York Times and Nielsen Look at Final Ad Blitz

The New York Times warns to "get ready for the coming ad blitz" in this roundup article. The piece by Kate Phillips raises questions about the latest McCain ad, which uses Joe Biden's words to suggest that Obama is a risky choice because his election might bring on an international crisis:

"The audio of Senator Biden’s remarks has an echo-y effect, while pictures of tanks, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Iran’s president unfold across the screen in grainy, bluish tones. 'I guarantee you, it’s gonna happen,' Senator Biden warns. But then the ad script says, 'It doesn’t have to happen. Vote McCain.' Now, a couple of facts get in the way of this ad. In his original remarks, Senator Biden touted what he termed Mr. Obama’s 'spine of steel' after discussing the historical nature of terrorists and foreign leaders always testing a new president. You don’t have to go back to the Cuban Missile Crisis, as Mr. Biden did, to cite the possible scenarios that could unfold for any new president. Mr. Biden did not say an Obama presidency would make the country more vulnerable than a McCain administration, as this ad suggests."

The Nielsen Company, best known for its TV ratings, has released statistics about ad spending in the final month of the campaign. Most notable is the disparity in spending between Obama and McCain in Florida.

"In the home stretch leading up to the presidential election, Sen. Barack Obama is easily out-advertising his presidential opponent, Sen. John McCain. In seven key swing states — Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, Obama placed 150% more ad units (53,049 v. 21,106) than McCain between October 6 and October 22, 2008. Obama’s advertising has been most prolific in Florida, where he ran 15,887 ads between October 6 and October 22, 2008, outpacing McCain’s 4,662 ads by 240%."