O’Donnell buys three 30-minute TV blocs for final pitch in DE

posted at 9:15 am on November 1, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Well, why not?  If Christine O’Donnell has the cash to buy three separate blocs of 30 minutes each, as Roll Call reported late yesterday, there is not much time to spend it any other way, or with any more effect.  The first two will run today and the final one on Tuesday, and give O’Donnell a chance to make an unfiltered, extensive final argument for victory tomorrow:

Christine O’Donnell’s GOP Senate campaign is buying three 30-minute television ads for the final stretch, she announced Sunday at a Tea Party Express rally, where she insisted that the race is closer than it seems.

She has purchased the three ads, to air Sunday night and at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday, with the financial help of the tea party movement to showcase stories she hears on the campaign trail. “Tell everyone to tune in,” she said.

Roll Call’s schedule is off.  According to a press release from Team O’Donnell, the spots will run at 11 am and 3 PM today and again on Tuesday, on Delaware 28’s cable channel in New Castle County and on their website.

Roll Call recalls that Barack Obama did the same thing before his election, and Obama wound up winning big.  However, Obama had likely been ahead for most of the general election anyway.  The ads allowed Obama to go above the heads of the political media, though, which may have helped with voters truly on the fence.

The investment may be more significant than the message itself.  Most people have thoroughly dismissed the Delaware race, but lately, her opponent has gotten some high-profile visitors on the campaign trail, including the man who won the seat in the last election, Vice President Joe Biden.  O’Donnell says not to count her out yet, and that Biden’s decision to campaign in Delaware rather than other presumably closer Senate races shows that her big investment is worth the money:

O’Donnell argued Sunday that she’s winning first-time voters who aren’t included in polls and that Democrats are worried, pointing to Vice President Joseph Biden’s scheduled appearance at a rally Monday for her Democratic rival, Chris Coons, as evidence.

“They wouldn’t spend the day before Election Day in Delaware if they didn’t know it was tight,” O’Donnell said as about 1,000 conservatives from Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania cheered along the Christina River waterfront.

That’s not a bad point.  If Coons has that big of a lead, why isn’t Biden in Nevada or Washington today, where a big intervention might save a seat?  At this point Biden might be an albatross for Harry Reid, but Patty Murray has to be wondering why she’s not seeing any big guns helping her close the deal against Dino Rossi in the final hours, while the presumably-safe Coons gets all the attention.

Perhaps the race is a little tighter than anyone thinks.

Addendum: If O’Donnell has this much cash left at the end, doesn’t that argue that her campaign has been pretty self-sufficient and that the outside and inside organizations made a good call in putting their cash elsewhere at the end of the cycle?

Update: BGoldman in the comments answers my “why not?”

Because 30-minute infomercials are a stupid, lousy, inefficient buy – especially at 11 AM and 3 PM, which are not exactly peak viewing hours(except for stay-at-home parents and shutins), and especially not on just one channel. Better to have put the media dollars (and the production dollars that would have been saved) into saturating the cable system, across all channels, with 30-second spots.

The problem with that is that those spots are already sold.  Media buys take place a couple of weeks in advance even for last-minute decisions.  If O’Donnell has that kind of money left now, she will have few options for spending it, at least on media.  It could go to GOTV efforts, but if those are fully funded too, then again — why not the 30-minute spots?

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People in DE may not care that O’Donnell is a rightwing Christian fundie nutjob who possesses not a single qualification to serve in the Senate, but CT voters don’t like the idea of someone like McMahon representing them.

Meredith on November 1, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Wingnut vs. sleazeball…pretty well sums up the entire election.

I’d feel a bit sorrier for the people of DE if this wasn’t a summary of what much of America has to pick from, all the way up to the presidential elections.

Dark-Star on November 1, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Because YOUR state is such a shining example to the country, Annie?

Meredith on November 1, 2010 at 1:31 PM

You have a problem with Texas?

right2bright on November 1, 2010 at 2:17 PM

I’m always glad to get the stupidity of the Centrist RINOs around HA for a good laugh. They’re the ones that believe Pres. Reagan couldn’t get re-elected if he were able to run today. And they probably think he WAS a right-wing NUTJOB. But I’d rather have that going over to Germany and having the cajones to say, “TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!” when I’m looking at REPEAL OBAMACARE NOW in the face going into the next two years than the mamby-pamby wussified CASTLES of the world that would be telling me how we just have to revamp it because it’s IMPOSSIBLE I TELL YA, IMPOSSIBLE to REPEAL IT!!


I grateful and happy to associate myself with these so-called right-wing wingnuts… thank you very much!

Sultry Beauty on November 1, 2010 at 2:25 PM

The problem with that is that those spots are already sold. Media buys take place a couple of weeks in advance even for last-minute decisions. If O’Donnell has that kind of money left now, she will have few options for spending it, at least on media. It could go to GOTV efforts, but if those are fully funded too, then again — why not the 30-minute spots?

Also consider that there is a ballgame or two on tonight. 30 second spots get lost in a game of any import.

juanito on November 1, 2010 at 6:17 PM

Christine O’Donnell has been fighting the hardest battle in the nation this election cycle, and she has been more than holding her own, with style.

Once the primary was done, she should have only had to face one opponent. Instead, she has had to go toe-to-toe, not only with the disturbed Coons, but with the check-pants Republicans, the McCain Republicans, and anti-Palin Republicans, and the absolute morons who believe the tripe that she can’t win. If the party had showed the tiniest bit of solidarity, instead of imploding over the unexpected dispatch of the RINO Castle, she would be winning big by now.

You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

Freelancer on November 1, 2010 at 9:00 PM