WASHINGTON (AP) — Campaign commercials featuring John
Kerry and Howard Dean are fixtures only on New Hampshire
television, but that will change after the state’s
first-in-the-nation primary on yesterday.
Both Democratic presidential candidates awaited the primary
results before deciding where to spend their ad money next, most
likely in states where they think they have the best chance to pick
up the most delegates.
Rivals Wesley Clark, John Edwards and Joe Lieberman are
advertising in a mixture of six of the seven states with primaries
or caucuses on Feb. 3 — Arizona, South Carolina, New Mexico,
Oklahoma, Delaware and North Dakota. No one is advertising yet in
Missouri, the seventh state, but several are considering it.
Bill Carrick, a veteran Democratic strategist who directed media
for Rep. Dick Gephardt before he quit the race last week, predicted
modest advertising buys from the candidates in the campaign days
“I think everybody’s tapped out,” he said.
“Everybody just threw an enormous amount of money into Iowa
and New Hampshire.”
Competitive multicandidate races in those two states led to
unusually expensive advertising campaigns. Kerry and Dean each have
spent about $2 million to run TV ads in New Hampshire. In Iowa,
Kerry poured in at least $2.5 million, and Dean spent at least $3.5
And, unlike their rivals, neither Kerry nor Dean is getting
periodic checks from the federal government as matching funds. The
two decided against accepting taxpayer money so they could raise
and spend as much as they wanted.
“Right now in a presidential race, free media becomes more
important than paid media,” said David Eichenbaum, a
Democratic media consultant for former presidential candidate Bob
Kerry, a Massachusetts senator who won Iowa’s caucuses,
has only run ads in Iowa and New Hampshire. Advisers have said a
win yesterday, combined with last-minute TV advertising, would
boost his momentum even further heading into next week’s
Dean, a former Vermont governor, has run commercials
periodically in nine states. He had been on the air consistently
for the past couple of weeks in South Carolina, New Mexico and
Arizona but has not advertised there this week.
Campaign advisers say the decision to scale back advertising in
those states does not indicate that Dean, who raised $41 million
last year, is short on cash.