SCHIP veto spurs ad buys


According to polls, nearly three fourths of US citizens support a bipartisan bill to increase funding to a children’s health insurance program known as SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program). The veto it drew from President Bush became a call to action to various public interest groups backing the legislation, who are using the veto as a basis for television and radio advertisements in the districts of Republican congress members considered to be vulnerable in 2008. The early ads will be focus on getting the members to help override the veto. If the override effort fails, then a whole new round of ads will be launched specifically at vulnerable members who did not support the override.

RBR observation: This may well go on all the way up to Election Day next year. Every time something controversial happens in Washington, an interest group can either spend cash it has on hand or appeal to its membership for enough small donations to run an ad flight, and can take the campaign right to where it thinks it will have the greatest affect. While candidates themselves may make more strategic use of the airwaves, keeping powder dry for the final few weeks, the tactical methods of interest groups will continue to be tied to current events, and may well keep the political category hopping at least to some extent between the primaries and the general election, as well as enhancing the spending during those two periods.