Special election draws attention


The battle to take over the seat of newly-minted Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) comes to a head tomorrow – but it’s already been a boon to the local media. NY-20 almost surrounds the capital city of Albany, and has long seated Republicans in Congress until Gillibrand claimed the seat in 2006. Both national congressional campaign committees have been pouring cash into the local media, and the RNC has kicked into the ante as well.

Early indications is it might go back, to Republican Jim Tedisco, who enjoyed a double digit lead at one point. Latest polls seem to show Democrat Scott Murphy with a slight lead.

According to an article at Talkingpointsmemo.com, the NRCC has spend almost $820K to take the seat back from the Democrats. It’s counterpart, the DCCC, has been less generous but has also kicked in $575K. The RNC, where troubled new chair Michael Steele is looking for a victory to pad his resume, has pumped at least $200K into the district. It’s counterpart DNC has made only minimal contributions.

Murphy does have the benefit of friends in high places. President Barack Obama fired off an email on his behalf to District 20 residents and VP Joe Biden cut a radio commercial for him.

RBR/TVBR observation: When it comes to political ad spend, location isn’t necessarily everything. Battleground status is essential, and this district absolutely fits the bill on that count. It has another huge advantage that only comes around once in awhile – a monopoly on the national spotlight.