Obama pulling out of red states

posted at 9:00 am on August 23, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama bragged that he would compete for votes in all 50 states against John McCain, and his fundraising numbers certainly gave the impression that he had the resources to do it.  Yesterday, though, Obama’s campaign abruptly suspended their advertising in several red states, including Georgia, which Team Obama had specifically spotlighted earlier as a possible takeaway:

Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has put the brakes on ads that were running in seven states carried by the GOP in the 2004 presidential election, FOX News has learned.

Of the seven states — including Alaska, Georgia, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota — Florida and Virginia are considered key battlegrounds this year. Obama’s decision to stop advertising in those states is raising eyebrows.

Aides to Obama told FOX News that the changes are related to the convention next week. They wouldn’t discuss the specifics of their ad strategy, but the Obama campaign insists that it has not pulled out of those states permanently, calling this a temporary suspension.

When Obama’s campaign took over the Democratic Party earlier this year, it embraced Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy, which is aimed at courting Democrats nationwide. The strategy has generated controversy, though, because many Democrats say it wastes money in states where they have no chance of winning.

The timing of the convention sounds like a convenient excuse.  If anything, that would be the time to push advertising in marginal states, just to keep John McCain’s team off balance.  They need all the exposure they can get to achieve a decent post-convention bounce and to halt the summer-long slide in Obama’s support.

Instead, this looks like a combination of financial and polling reality.  Obama had hoped to make serious gains in red states by the time the conventions started, making further investments attractive.  However, Obama has lost ground in these states despite spending millions in television spots, just as he has lost ground nationwide.

Obama also has a fundraising problem, which seems counterintuitive for a campaign that had two $50 million months in a row.  Unfortunately, they’re burning through their cash a lot faster than McCain, and with a lot less impact.  Also, the RNC is outraising the DNC at such a rate that it’s wiped out the Team Obama advantage, and now Obama has to work fundraisers instead of focusing entirely on his campaign.  He can’t afford to blow cash now on efforts with no payoff.


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Maybe the subtitle should be ‘Obama finally recognizes political reality’?

Think_b4_speaking on August 23, 2008 at 9:03 AM

Meh. I don’t recall seeing an Obama TV spot since around the primaries, and I live in Illinois – Obama territory if there ever was such a thing.

He’s either not spent much here, or he’s spent it on things I don’t watch. Not that I watch much TV.

Mew

acat on August 23, 2008 at 9:05 AM

maybe its time to flip rethink public financing..

he can still count on Moveon.org as his attack dog..

DaveC on August 23, 2008 at 9:10 AM

It would be hilarious if he loses and ends up with more debt than Hillary.

ninjapirate on August 23, 2008 at 9:10 AM

Is anyone watching the former CBS News reporter Linda Douglas is now a Sr. Advisor to the Obama campaign? Talk about an out of the closet liberal reporter hack.

roninacreage on August 23, 2008 at 9:12 AM

Obama has spent a small fortune advertising here in Montana, as he was very popular here (esp. with college age folks) until a couple of weeks ago. I’m not sure what exactly has happened to derail the Obama express here, but something has gotten the attention of Montanans. Seemed to be around the time Obama came back from his trip abroad, where he once again went anti-American on foreign soil, while referring to himself as a “citizen of the world” rather than showing pride for being an American.

Check this out…

http://michellemalkin.com/

Keemo on August 23, 2008 at 9:12 AM

on Joe Scumboros show.

roninacreage on August 23, 2008 at 9:12 AM

Also, the RNC is outraising the DNC at such a rate that it’s wiped out the Team Obama advantage

True, but Soros & the unions & the media are with BO & Plugs.

jgapinoy on August 23, 2008 at 9:14 AM

Is BO really giving up on FL?

jgapinoy on August 23, 2008 at 9:14 AM

Maybe they’ll resume advertising in Red states. Maybe they won’t. Who knows. It’s August ff’s sake.

Dave Rywall on August 23, 2008 at 9:18 AM

Why not help the RNC welcome windbag Biden to the big show by donating a few bucks? It would be great to prove that despite two losing races, Biden’s name alone can generate money. For the RNC.

Donate here: https://www.gop.com/donate/Default.aspx. C’mon. Ten or twenty bucks won’t hurt.

Vote Sauron 08 on August 23, 2008 at 9:21 AM

WEll,why can’t Obama just go back to Rezco for
another loan,a hum,kidding of course,jus sayin!

canopfor on August 23, 2008 at 9:21 AM

Now all that’s left to do is for Darth Shrillary to take the nom at the convention.

thekingtut on August 23, 2008 at 9:22 AM

Could just be a head fake.

SoulGlo on August 23, 2008 at 9:22 AM

Of the seven states — including Alaska, Georgia, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota — Florida and Virginia are considered key battlegrounds this year. Obama’s decision to stop advertising in those states is raising eyebrows.

I don’t think this is a big deal – just a regrouping of resources. He may not think he can win Georgia anymore or be conducting a 50 state strategy, but there is no way he is giving up on, say, Florida and Virginia.

Buy Danish on August 23, 2008 at 9:23 AM

… this looks like … polling reality.

Sounds like the fairy tale’s not gonna have a happy ending.

Tony737 on August 23, 2008 at 9:24 AM

By the way, isn’t it supposed to be a 57 state strategy?

Tony737 on August 23, 2008 at 9:26 AM

Well they could have made that decision earlier. I was streaming Rush out of Norfolk, VA yesterday because of wall to wall tropical storm radio here in Florida and I heard several Obama ads. The sad thing is the Dem line appears to be working in Virginia. Sigh!

Cindy Munford on August 23, 2008 at 9:30 AM

The sad thing is the Dem line appears to be working in Virginia. Sigh!

Cindy Munford on August 23, 2008 at 9:30 AM

I don’t think so. I think this just killed Virginia for BHO. He may carry NOVA by a small margin but even those fuzzy heads will choke over Biden. ROVA will be solid behind McCain. Nothing to back that up with, just a gut feeling.

Oldnuke on August 23, 2008 at 9:35 AM

It’s humanitarian, ya skeptics: They’re setting aside the money to bail all those protesters out of little Gitmo!

RushBaby on August 23, 2008 at 9:43 AM

He may not think he can win Georgia anymore or be conducting a 50 state strategy, but there is no way he is giving up on, say, Florida and Virginia.

Buy Danish on August 23, 2008 at 9:23 AM

.
He needs to give up on Florida, and by picking Biden, I think he just lost any chance at Virginia. But, what am I saying? Spend like a drunken sailor, Barry – throw the money at every state.

Think_b4_speaking on August 23, 2008 at 9:45 AM

Every 4 years we hear about 50 state strategies and every 4 years it turns into a fight over 3 or 4 states. This time it seems like CO, NV, VA are more in play.

Bennett on August 23, 2008 at 9:49 AM

Oldnuke on August 23, 2008 at 9:35 AM

From your mouth to God’s ear. We are working on moving back but it has been sad to see the Dems taking over. Apparently Gilmore can’t crack a million in fund raising while Warner rakes it in.

Cindy Munford on August 23, 2008 at 9:49 AM

Cindy Munford on August 23, 2008 at 9:49 AM

Come on back, we can use all the conservatives we can get to offset the lib migration to NOVA. Did you live here when Gilmore was governor? Of all the bone headed choices to run for any office in Virginia Gilmore has to take the cake. Warner is wildly popular, for some obscure reason, and will win the seat in a cake walk.

Oldnuke on August 23, 2008 at 9:55 AM

Obama was running a lot of tv ads here in Arizona for a while, but I haven’t seen any now for a few weeks. I’m not sure what their strategy is, other than perhaps trying to embarrass McCain by making the race closer in his home state. There are a lot of Republicans here who don’t like McCain, but they’re not likely to vote for Obama — maybe some Libertarian or Constitution Party 3d-party candidate — but not some flaming Liberal with a 3-year Senate career. Arizona’s red for a reason. Obama won’t win here, no matter how much money he spends.

AZCoyote on August 23, 2008 at 10:00 AM

Oldnuke on August 23, 2008 at 9:55 AM

I didn’t live there during Gilmore. The only thing that I can remember is that he didn’t follow through completely on getting rid of the personal property taxes. But I did think he was the one who finally got tolls taken off roads that had already been paid for.

Cindy Munford on August 23, 2008 at 10:08 AM

He’s saving money to run ads in the South in October, plain and simple.

Seixon on August 23, 2008 at 10:10 AM

Obama will focus on the states he needs to win and ignore the ones that are heavily republican. He learned from Hillary in the primaries how to do that. McCain will pick up many states that Hillary won or ran a close second in. Many of her supporters will not support Obama and never will accept his message of “change”. All that needs to be done is point to his actions and not his words. He says what you want to hear then does something else. Add 5 million Hillary voters to McCain and it’s all over.

kanda on August 23, 2008 at 10:11 AM

What kind of burn rate must Obama have for all this money he is supposedly raking in that he cannot afford to keep ads running in a couple of battleground states during his convention? It has to be money, there is no strategic reason to pull out of these states, except that he can’t afford to spend there anymore. I was thinking that Barry is starting to remind me of those lottery winners you read about, winning big money and then being completely broke in a year or two because they couldn’t manage their money. Then I realized, no, he is more like a flash in the pan celebrity, who hits big money, spends it all on his image and entourage, and is broke in no time. Think MC Hammer.

Kevin71 on August 23, 2008 at 10:15 AM

There are a lot of Republicans here who don’t like McCain, but they’re not likely to vote for Obama — maybe some Libertarian or Constitution Party 3d-party candidate — but not some flaming Liberal with a 3-year Senate career. Arizona’s red for a reason. Obama won’t win here, no matter how much money he spends.

AZCoyote on August 23, 2008 at 10:00 AM

The only caution I have against not voting or voting a third party is it can have a horrible consequence. Remember Ross Perot took enough votes from GHWB to swing the election to Bill Clinton. Lets not let that happen again. I’m a former Hillary supporter because I’m an “anybody but McCain guy”. I’ve voted Republican since ’68 and was pretty certain of voting Hillary this time. Experience tells me this time it must be McCain even though I’d rather it was Romney heading our ticket.

kanda on August 23, 2008 at 10:21 AM

What’s that sound you hear when someone loses on “The Price is Right”?… enh unh uuh uuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh!

zerObama.

Swinehound on August 23, 2008 at 10:34 AM

On the other hand, Barry may be broke after reckless spending like this.

Buy Danish on August 23, 2008 at 10:37 AM

That ‘public campaign financing” is beginning to look better and better to the Chosen One.

GarandFan on August 23, 2008 at 11:04 AM

Seeing way too many ads for him to be pulling out of the Tampa area, so I don’t think he has abandoned Florida. However, that may turn into a different story after the convention is over (please Lord).

talking_mouse on August 23, 2008 at 11:22 AM

Here in North Carolina we were inundated with Obama ads in the Primaries but I haven’t seen one since then. He was also all over hulu.com, just about every tv show he was the only advertiser. But nothing there since then either.

Capitalist Infidel on August 23, 2008 at 11:48 AM

it embraced Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy

Dean should embrace his meds.

whitetop on August 23, 2008 at 11:48 AM

Well…. He has to pull out of those 7 states, to make it a 50 state strategy!

Vince on August 23, 2008 at 11:49 AM

“By the way, isn’t it supposed to be a 57 state strategy?”

Pay attention, Tony – he is stopping the ads in seven states. That leaves 50 others!!

exhelodrvr on August 23, 2008 at 11:49 AM

I’m hoping for a complete withdrawl from Virginia. Maybe if he pisses his followers off enough down here, I can put a political bumpersticker on my car and not fear having it keyed.

Anna on August 23, 2008 at 11:55 AM

Obama pulling out of red states

Does that mean he’s done screwing us?

mylegsareswollen on August 23, 2008 at 12:11 PM

How long til Obama flipflopflips on public financing?

amkun on August 23, 2008 at 12:12 PM

Well…. He has to pull out of those 7 states, to make it a 50 state strategy!

Vince on August 23, 2008 at 11:49 AM

lol Beat me to it :)

I’m hoping that he stops with the ads in VA, but I don’t think he will. Watching the olympics over the last week I’ve seen quite a few of his ads.

If he’s suspending them for a while, I’d say it’s probably more to save his money so he can throw everything he has at us closer to election day than it is him completely giving up.

dead-duck on August 23, 2008 at 12:25 PM

Team Obama’s spending cash is like an undesirable rich man blowing a bunch of money on a beautiful woman who’s NEVER going to marry him. He just doesn’t get it.

Mojave Mark on August 23, 2008 at 12:42 PM

Is anyone watching the former CBS News reporter Linda Douglas is now a Sr. Advisor to the Obama campaign? Talk about an out of the closet liberal reporter hack.

roninacreage on August 23, 2008 at 9:12 AM

Yeah, I caught that. What’s Andrea Mitchell saying? ha ha Does she still have her clothes on?

DfDeportation on August 23, 2008 at 1:30 PM

I was driving along I-94 at 3:30 in the morning when I caught the Obama bug. It went *SPLAT* on my windshield.

Real change that you can believe in.

DannoJyd on August 23, 2008 at 2:04 PM

Yesterday, though, Obama’s campaign abruptly suspended their advertising in several red states, including Georgia, which Team Obama had specifically spotlighted earlier as a possible takeaway

Let me elaborate on this a bit: actually the Obama campaign pulled out of Georgia after they learned that the state was not comprised of only Fulton and DeKalb counties.

radjah shelduck on August 23, 2008 at 3:41 PM

Speaking of advertising…living in California, we usually don’t get much in the way of campaign ads, but now that we are getting some, it’s amusing to watch the McCain ads next to the Obama ads because both use some of the exact same images, especially when talking about their alternative energy programs. Just a thought.

Math_Mage on August 23, 2008 at 4:38 PM