Using their Advantage
Both Anthony Brown and Doug Gansler are launching television ad buys this week according to The Washigton Post. As you’ll see below, neither ad is particularly compelling, but is your typical piece used by campaigns to introduce themselves to the electorate and try to define themselves before voters.
Brown and Gansler are getting the opportunity to do what, unfortunately, our Republican candidates are not able to do yet. The huge fundraising totals amassed by Brown and Gansler are allowing them to go on TV this early, far in advance of Democratic rival Heather Mizeur or any of the Republican candidates running. Basically, Brown and Gansler are going to have the entire political advertising marketplace to themselves for a month or two before other statewide and high dollar campaigns get into the mix.
This is going to be one of our key strategic weaknesses as Republicans in the General Election, yet oddly also one of our advantages. Right now none of the Republican candidates, based on the January 2014 fundraising totals, can afford to advertise on broadcast television. A few would struggle to buy a spot on cable. By the time we get to the primary, maybe only one or two candidates on the GOP side will be able to afford to get themselves on television. The lackluster fundraising numbers to date for our Republican candidates is going to make it that much more difficult to stand out among the noise when introducing themselves to voters prio to June 24th.
Yet as I said, this is also going to be a strength. The Brown-Gansler matchup is going to be a heavyweight slugfest like we haven’t seen in Maryland in a long time. Both are sufficiently armed with enough cash to stay on the air for the next four months. And while the spots have started out positive, they won’t stay that way very long.
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Strategically, the Brown and Ganssler camps are smart to be using the advantages they have. I doubt, however, they will start moving the needle immediately.