It took awhile for the air war to get started in Iowa, but with only a couple of weeks left to go the state is thoroughly awash in campaign ads. Many of them are tough attacks on Newt Gingrich and, if a raft of recent polling is to be believed, they’re working in a major way. So what do you see during the breaks if you sit through an episode of How I Met Your Mother in Des Moines?
Well, first of all, you’re not seeing a lot of Gingrich. He’s getting brutally outspent by Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and their respective independent Super PACs. According to MSNBC, pro-Romney Super PAC Restore Our Future is outspending Gingrich $713,000 to $21,000 this week, though Gingrich is planning to fight back with a larger buy next week. This is what one of ROF’s latest ads looks like:
Romney’s friendly Super PAC allows his official campaign to stick to wholesome, positive, and cheaper spots. Like this one:
As of last week, Rick Perry was concentrating all of his TV money in Iowa, where he’s hoping to make a last stand. His latest spot “Three Streets,” hits Gingrich over his $1.6 million in consulting fees from Freddie Mac as well as Romney for layoffs at Bain Capital.
Oddly enough, Rick Perry’s situation vis a vis Super PACs is a reversal of Romney’s. Perry just put out a hard-hitting attack, but Make Us Great Again, which is backing his campaign, is spending big money on positive spots.
Ron Paul, who is leading recent polls of Iowa, spent the most money on ads in the early stretch of the campaign but seems to be tapering off lately with only a $63,000 buy this week, per MSNBC. But his campaign says they plan on shelling out big money on their latest spot, which hit the airwaves on Tuesday and features images of Gingrich as it discusses “insider deals” and “smooth talking politicians.”
Gingrich, for his part, has used what ad time he can muster to condemn negative advertising.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.