Ad War Update: All Quiet On The Campaign Front

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 16 2012 @ 8:02pm

Nothing much from the Romney campaign today, just a long web video focusing on Mitt's business credentials. Likewise from the Obama campaign; it released, on top of the Bill Clinton web video posted earlier, three equality-focused web videos featuring a bunch of gay celebrities led by Jane Lynch. The main video:

Meanwhile, Rove Super PAC American Crossroads takes on Obama again in an eight-state $11.1 million buy (TV and web):

An "anti-Obama" group, Checks and Balances for Economic Growth, jumps into the coal war – apparently spending $900K to air this ad in Ohio starting a week before the election:

Phillip Bump looks into the ad, including the group behind it:

Checks And Balances For Economic Growth is registered at the Washington, D.C., address of the law firm Webster, Chamberlain & Bean — an address shared by a number of conservative organizations, including, at one time, Tom DeLay’s former political action committee. Thanks to the murky world of PAC contributions, it’s not clear if Checks And Balances For Economic Growth is linked to Murray Energy PAC, the PAC run by mine owner Robert Murray to which, it seems, employees are forcefully encouraged to contribute.

And Ali Gharib passes along a crude Florida billboard put up by another anti-Obama group, this time focusing on the cold war between Israel and Iran:

FL billboard

Gharib notes:

The group behind the "Stop Obama!" billboard is American Principles SuperPAC. At the group's website, you can find all manner of anti-Obama ads, ranging from the standard attack on "you didn't build that" to a billboard blaming Obama for gas prices that features a picture of the president bowing to the Saudi King. The "events" page only lists one soirée: a town hall gathering with Tea Party Congressman Allen West (R-FL).

While his Super PAC hits Obama, Rove's dark-money outfit Crossroads GPS is dumping another $5 million against several Senate candidates, including former Independent Governor Angus King in Maine:

And in analysis, here's one way both campaigns hurt small businesses: they squeeze them out of advertising airtime:

While the law also obligates TV stations to provide ad inventory to federal candidates at the lowest market rate, a surge in overall demand for ads can drive that rate up. Even if advertisers book time well in advance, surging rates may prompt them to drop the ad slot. "The problem [for local advertisers] isn't that rates go up, as much as it is getting pushed off by the politician demanding availability," said Jack Poor, VP-strategic planning at TVB, a trade organization representing TV-station groups and local TV outlets. Even if an advertiser thinks, ""I'm good because I locked in; I'm not preemptable.' … OK, but I'm sorry to tell you the law says I have to put this guy in, and not you. That's the quandary."

Many advertisers simply take down their ads or try other mediums, and while TV broadcasters might make the big bucks during the election, they also risk alienating the local clients they desperately need once the races are over. Lastly, liberal Super PAC American Bridge 21st Century is quick to use the soup-kitchen sink against Paul Ryan in this web video:

Ad War archive here.