Campaigns selective with TV spending

Preparing to change the channel

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: One caucus and one primary down, 48 states to go.
Super Tuesday is less than a month away. You know that means: The barrage of campaign ads is about to start. This could be a record year. Here in California, we're already getting those TV ads for and against certain propositions. Jeremy Hobson takes a look at the presidential candidates.


Jeremy Hobson: In the next month, candidates are competing for states that include 7 of the 10 most expensive TV markets in the country. So where should they buy?

I asked Christopher Arterton, who heads the School of Political Management at George Washington University:

Christopher Arterton: They cannot afford to compete in all of these states, and so that's why they're going to triage them into states that they can't win, states that they can't lose, and then the states where money will make a difference.

As a result, he says it's possible no clear winner will emerge on either side after February 5. Well, there will be one winner: broadcast TV.

But Evan Tracey, who runs the Campaign Media Analysis Group, says candidates won't be flooding the airwaves with ads.

Evan Tracey: They will use cable, they will use broadcast. But it's going to be by no means any comparison to what Iowa and New Hampshire have seen.

Tracey says campaign strategists who are paid to figure out where to advertise will be earning their paychecks in the coming weeks.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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