National PAC buys radio in NY23


The three-way election in the expansive 23rd Congressional District of New York has attracted a great deal of national attention among the political class, if not the media, and now Family Research Center is jumping in with a last-minute radio buy.

The 23rd is as upstate as New York gets, bordering Vermont, Maine and – a little further west across the St. Lawrence River – Canada.

A special election is being held for the seat of John McHugh (R-NY), who exited after being appointed Secretary of the Army by President Barack Obama.

But a hefty percentage of Republicans are not happy with the party candidate, Dede Scozzafava, seen as too moderate or liberal depending, and are backing Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. The beneficiary of the split Republican vote is Democrat Bill Owens.

The race has attracted the attention of many national players in Republican politics, including Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson and others. National political PACs are also funneling in cash. The Family Research Center is just the latest to join the fray.

RBR-TVBR observation: One great way to become a battleground and attract national campaign cash is to be on a limited electoral dance card. And anything can happen in a special election, which is why both parties sweat over even presumably safe seats.

For example, this should have been safe for the Republicans, but the battle for the soul of the party and the resultant split vote may well let Owens sneak down to Washington with far below a majority vote.
Radio, by the way, is an excellent selection for this far-flung market. It actually encompasses two television markets, Burlington VT-Plattsburgh NY to the east and Watertown NY to the west. It is easier to stretch the ad budget on radio than it is on television.

However, TV/cable may more efficiently bring in the population in the vast expanse between the two media markets. So you count your money and you make your choice.