The presidential campaign of Barack Obama announced today that they are expanding their television advertising into Georgia, North Dakota, and John McCain’s home state of Arizona. This strategy is designed to put as many red states as possible into play, and force McCain to defend them.
The campaign said that they will be running the optimistic, “Something” ad in Arizona:
They will be running the harder hitting ad “Rearview Mirror” which focuses on the economy in Georgia and North Dakota:
The Obama campaign doesn’t really expect to win any of these three states, although of the three, Georgia is their best chance. This is a strategy that is designed to make John McCain spend his resources defending more red states with television ads, and it seems to be working. According to a story in today’s Washington Post, McCain and the RNC and scaling back their get out the vote efforts, so that they can run more TV ads in swing states over the next four days.
It is mystifying that the GOP would scale back their successful ground operation of the last two presidential elections, when this seems to be their only chance of winning. They are not going to win the ad war, so why not focus on getting out the vote? The problem for the Republican Party this year is that they have too much ground to defend, and Obama keeps expanding the front. I think the other motivation for the Obama ads is to get out as much Democratic vote as possible to help Democrats in other races. It looks to me like Obama is trying to lengthen his possible coattails.
There is an incumbent senator, Chambliss, in trouble in Georgia, and I think that the potential to pick up McCain’s home state was too good to pass up. These ad buys dispel the idea that Obama will sit on his lead and play defense. Democrats have learning in 2000 and 2004 that in order to win, they must stay aggressive until the very end. Both Al Gore and John Kerry didn’t do this, and paid for it on Election Day. The Obama campaign seems determined not make the same mistake.