Two Senate races remain to be decided. One of those, the Minnesota match-up between incumbent Norm Coleman (R-MN) and TV/radio broadcaster Al Franken (D-MN) is strictly being contested in the counting rooms. Such is not the case in Georgia, where President-elect Barack Obama has entered the fray. He has cut a radio ad backing the Democratic challenger, and it’s believed a television version will be coming along as well. Obama’s opponent, John McCain (R-AZ) has personally visited the state on behalf of the incumbent.
The failure of any candidate to get 50% of the total vote triggered a run-off vote 12/2/08. Since it’s the only game going, national political committees are pouring money into the state supporting either incumbent Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) or challenger Jim Martin (D-GA). If Franken wins in Minnesota and Martin prevails here, the Democrats will have achieved the magic 60-seat filibuster-proof majority.
RBR/TVBR observation: This race is the Republican’s to lose. Chambliss will be helped by the absence of Libertarian candidate and former Congressman Bob Barr. But in the end, it’ll come down to turnout, and a good ground game will be able to overcome natural obstacles in a race like this. Stay tuned.
Also, be glad you don’t live in Georgia, if you don’t. Our children have had more than their fill of political advertising; and even Obama’s own children were vehemently against his half-hour commercial ahead of Election Day, if it meant the preemption of some of their favorite shows; and truth be told, as adults, we too have had our fill of commercial political speech.
Of course, we say this as mere consumers – but it is instructive, since you don’t want harsh negative political advertising burning out members of your loyal audience. But speaking as broadcasters in this particular economy, when it comes to an extension of the advertising season, we say bring it on.