Is it possible that the TV war in the Texas governor's race is about to get underway? The Kay Bailey Hutchison campaign is inquiring about the availability of broadcast time and the rates for this month and next - generally a precursor before a campaign starts airing television commercials.
Both Hutchison and Rick Perry routinely check the availability of broadcast time - and have been doing so for awhile. But the most recent inquiries by the Hutchison camp for rates and availability are raising questions whether the senator is planning to move her Perry challenge to TV? Hutchison is trailing Perry in the latest poll and some observers think she needs to counter his anti-Washington message with a clear message about why she should be governor.
Hutchison spokeswoman Jennifer Baker says the senator's campaign has been checking as a matter of protocol. "We pull rates and availability on a regular basis. We've been doing so since August. Perry has done the same." At any rate, Baker downplayed prospects of TV anytime soon.
"There's not anything in the works," she said. "We have no imminent plans to go up on TV."
But then, if there were plans to go up on TV anytime soon, you think they'd say so?
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Kay going up on TV soon?
Based on my experience in this game my guess is that Rick and Kay were both playing a game of chicken when it comes to running television advertisements over the past few months... all summer long I heard rumors that one of them might go up or that the other might. I remained incredulous about the rumors, but they were definitely out there. Now though I think we are too close to the holidays and I just don't see Rick or Kay pulling the trigger just yet...
Wayne Slater asked Kay's team if they were ready to go up, and they said no (link)...
Kay's team is checking for ad rates... this could be routine budgeting or it could be indicative of something that is about to break in this race.
I doubt either side has the money to go up right now and stay up through March... that is just based on the last finance reports that came out. I have no idea how much money Rick and Kay will have raised since June, but they should both have enough to go up state wide beginning early next year. It could be bluster, but Rick's peeps have bragged a lot about some of their "blowout" and "record" events... and they do have T. Boone Pickens and Bob Perry and some of the other big money guys on their side who can write checks for a million dollars without flinching... so does Kay for that matter.
I really doubt either side has enough right now to buy airtime consistently through the election... both sides have to plan to have a little something left over for the general election too so they are not caught off guard. They don't want to stockpile too much money though because the winner will be able to cash in on a bonus pool of money that was playing it safe or playing the other side the whole time...