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The Gazette KCRG
Posted December 9, 2011
What’s Ahead Dec. 9: Campaigns open their wallets for ad blitzes

It’s probably too late in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation precinct caucus campaign to catch up to the record spending by candidates just four years ago.

Still, the campaign ad buys this week by Mitt Romney and Rick Perry will warm the year-end balance sheets of Iowa media companies.

A group backing Romney, who will have a 10:35 a.m. town hall meeting at Diamond V, 2575 60th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids, has announced it is “dropping an eye-popping $3.1 million onto Iowa television and radio stations over the next three weeks,” Ed Tibbetts reports in the Quad-City Times.

Former Romney advisers, organized as Restore Our Future, announced the campaign at the same time as Romney surrogates launched an attack against former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has leapfrogged past Romney in national and Iowa polls.

Perry, who has been advertising heavily in Iowa in hopes of regaining his late summer frontrunner status, reportedly has plopped down $1 million for a television and radio campaign ahead of the Jan. 3 caucuses.

Gingrich also is boosting the bottom lines of media companies, albeit on a smaller scale than his deep-pocket rivals. He hit the Iowa airwaves for the first time this week with a minute-long television ad. The campaign said it’s spending $250,000 on its cable and broadcast ad buy.

Still, despite this campaign caroling, the amount candidates are spending at a much slower pace than four years ago.

The top nine Republican candidates spent $53 million through September, compared with $132 million spent at the same time four years ago. The sum is even lower than totals reported during the same period in the 2004 and 2000 primaries, when most candidates still were abiding by campaign spending limits in order to receive public matching money.

Candidates in the 2004 Democratic primary had spent $58 million through Sept. 30, 2003. Four years prior, a primary field of 10 Republican candidates had spent $68 million in the first three quarters of
1999.

A number of factors are seen as contributing to the lower spending including the plethora of debates.

That will change as the campaigns move beyond Iowa — where more of a premium is placed on face-to-face contact – to New Hampshire, according to Ken Goldstein, president of Kantar Media’s Campaign
Media Analysis Group
.

Sheila Krumholz of the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington is predicting campaign spending on the 2012 elections will reach a record $6 billion.

On the calendar:

Dec. 9

Mitt Romney, 10:35 a.m., town hall, Diamond V, 2575 60th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

Rick Santorum, 8 a.m., town hall, Ferrari’s, Cedar Falls; 11 a.m., University of Northern Iowa forum “Addressing the Challenges and Opportunities in Education Today.” Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Cedar Falls; 3 p.m., Uncle Nancy’s Coffee, Newton; 6 p.m., major announcement, Des Moines

Ron Paul, 9 a.m., Webster City Fire Station; 1 p.m., Mason City High; 4 p.m., Waverly Public Library; 7 p.m., Youth for Ron Paul, University of Northern Iowa Maucker Union, Slife Ballroom, Cedar Falls

Michele Bachmann, Nationwide Insurance, Des Moines

Dec. 10

Rick Santorum, town hall, Jefferson; noon, town hall, Waukee

Ron Paul, 10 a.m., Fisher Community Center, Marshalltown

Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum, 2:30 p.m., Veterans for a Strong America, Drake University, Des Moines

Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, 8 p.m., Des Moines Register/ABC News/Yahoo!/Republican Party of Iowa live presidential debate, Drake University

Dec. 11

Rick Perry, 12:30 p.m., Café Diem Coffee House, Ames

Rick Santorum, 11 a.m., Tabernacle Baptist Church, 2050 1st Ave., Coralville; 6:30 p.m., house party, Mitchell family, 570 Evergreen Ln., Robins

Dec. 12

Rick Santorum, 11:30 a.m., Principal Group, Des Moines; 3 p.m., Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Thomas Commons, Hedges Conference Room; 6:30 p.m., Linn County Republican Christmas Party, Longbranch Hotel and Convention Center, 90 Twixt Town Rd., Cedar Rapids

Dec. 13

Rick Santorum, town hall, Lincoln Café, Belle Plaine; 6:30 p.m., National Contract Management Association, Campbell Steele Gallery, 1064 7th Ave., Marion

Dec. 14

Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum, 7 p.m., Mike Huckabee forum on abortion issues, Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines

Dec. 15

Fox News/ Republican Party of Iowa live presidential debate, Sioux City

 

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