Expanded battlefield for 2008 elections


To all appearances, compared to 2004, more states are being put in play in the play in the presidential and senatorial campaign maps, and a key House Democrat says that up to 75 congressional districts are competitive. That means more broadcasters have a chance to dip a fork into the political pie.

Political analyst Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report has listed five states he suspects can be added to the usual battleground suspects this year. In fact, in his opinion the five may hold the key to the election. They include Colorado, Virginia, Ohio, Nevada and Michigan.

On the Senate side, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) detailed where he thinks the battles will be as his party shoots for a filibuster-proof 60 seats. With 16 Republican-held seats to target, he said Democrats are currently leading in states: Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire and Alaska. They are “even or close” in six, including Oregon, Minnesota, Mississippi, Kentucky, Maine and North Carolina. And they are surprisingly competitive and gaining in five more: Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Georgia.

House races are, of course, all over the map.

RBR/TVBR observation: All signs in the battle for Capitol Hill continue to point to a year like 2006, with Democrats on offense and Republicans on defense. From the broadcast perspective, both will be spending, no doubt like drunken sailors, and in more locations than usual, to get it done. Sometimes political puts so much pressure on availabilities that broadcasters risk alienating their regular customers. That shouldn’t be as much of a problem in this otherwise troubled revenue cycle.