Obama Purchases Thirty Minutes in Prime Time

Barack Obama is outspending John McCain on advertising, and is not taking anything for granted despite strong leads in the polls. He has already aired two minute add spots in order to talk more on the financial crisis than is possible in a typical thirty minute ad. One week before the election he is now planning on purchasing thirty minute blocks on at least two of the broadcast networks. James Hibberd writes:

The Obama campaign is producing a nationwide pitch to voters that will air on at least two broadcast networks. The ad will run Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. — less than a week before the general election.

The direct purchase of such a large block of national airtime right before an election used to be more commonplace before campaigns began to focus their endgame strategies exclusively on battleground states. Such a move is not without precedent in modern presidential politics, however — Ross Perot did a similar purchase in 1992.

The special is a smart move for the Obama campaign, said Larry Sabato, a political analyst and director of the Center of Politics at the University of Virginia.

“Obama’s theme is not just change but unity, so he’s appealing to the whole nation rather than a handful of tossup states,” Sabato said. “He wants to win the popular vote by a good margin, which will enable him to govern.”

I bet Obama will receive higher ratings than Perot, and won’t spend his time with a bunch of charts.

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