Ad Expert: ‘Colossal Avalanche of Advertising’ in ’10; Dems Outspending GOP

By Jared

Oct 29, 2010 1:23pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: The current election cycle is breaking all records in terms of overall campaign spending, with some $3 billion in total spending likely by the time Election Day arrives, a leading political ad expert told us on ABC’s “Top Line” today. We checked in with Evan Tracey, president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, a group that gets to (or has to) watch and track all the ads that political candidates are running. “This is a colossal avalanche of advertising,” Tracey told us. “We’re on  track for a record year. We should be around $3 billion with a ‘b.’ ”  As Jonathan Karl points out, many of the ads are sharply negative, with Democrats in particular taking a personal tone in the closing days. “We've come a long way past the ‘nanny problem,’ ” Tracey said. “This year it's going back to college, divorce records, you name it, it's coming out in a political ad If it's at all embarrassing. And this is a problem — Democrats are actually leading this charge this year. Incumbents don't want to talk about Washington, so it really leaves them no road to travel, but right at their opponents and that means trying to disqualify their opponent because in an anti-Washington climate. That's what they're trying to use to move the needle here.” Outside groups are spending more on Republicans than they are to help Democrats by a 2-1 margin, Tracey said, but that’s only helping bring parity in an election cycle where candidates and party committees have far larger bank accounts on the Democratic side. “Really what it's been is a bridge loan to challengers,” he said. “What Republican groups have done is sort of minimize this advantage of incumbency.” (And yes, today was “Slurpee Day” on “Top Line,” in honor of President Obama’s stump speech, which contends that his opponents are “sipping on Slurpees” while Democrats have sought to lead.) We also checked in with Major Garrett of the newly revamped National Journal, about the legislative outlook if Republicans take over control of the House and/or the Senate. –Rick Klein

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