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Kill Your TV

It's August in a mid-term year, which means the Fun is about to start! If you live in Ohio, Missouri and Pennsylvania, you might as well turn off your TVs now. Senate Democratic campaign organizations have reserved more than $25 million worth of television advertising in your states.


More than tipping their hand to Republicans on where Democrats plan to make their stand, this kind of media reservation gives voters an interesting look at how parties (lower "p") sort of coordinate but not really coordinate their activities to stay within the law. According to the AP, "ad campaigns of the size the DSCC is planning must be conducted independent of the campaigns they are designed to help." So they're not REALLY coordinating their efforts, but, "By signaling their intentions this far in advance, Democrats make it possible for their own candidates to know how much help to expect, making it easier for them to plan their own campaigns." So they basically transmit their intention by way of media buys, which the local campaigns can read as an indication of how to craft their own work on the ground. Get it?

The Republicans are being a little more cagey by not reserving anything yet. This allows them to play close to the vest and not show the Dems exactly where THEY plan to fight, but it also keeps them from pledging too soon to losers. Katherine Harris, for example, can expect zero help from the national level, while Rick Santorum is still sweating out his declining polls in hopes that they not dip so low that he ends up in the toilet with Harris. I mean, who throws good money after bad? Besides George W. Bush, that is...

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