Long before the calendar turned to 2012, John Archer was campaigning for the Republican nomination in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District. Archer made the most of his early start by getting to know key activists and becoming familiar with the new district.
With the June 5th primary just over a month away, Archer is now taking his message to the airwaves. Archer has been running a new TV ad on cable networks throughout the district since Monday, April 23rd. His primary opponent, Dan Dolan, has yet to run a TV ad.
The Archer ad is a simple and straightforward. It stresses the importance of the United States Constitution and also touches on some core conservative principles. The ad is aimed directly at typical primary voters. In fact, it is a similar to the first TV spot that Brad Zaun ran in his 2010 campaign in the 3rd Congressional District. Like Archer, Zaun was the first candidate to air a TV ad. Victory Enterprises from Davenport produced both Zaun’s and Archer’s ads.
It will be interesting to see what role TV ads will play in the 2nd District primary. In 2010, Mariannette Miller-Meeks won the 2nd District Republican nomination without running a single television ad even though three other primary opponents were on the air. TV played a larger role in the 3rd District primary in 2010 with both Zaun and Jim Gibbons airing commercials. Even though Gibbons spent more money on broadcast TV, Zaun prevailed in large part because of his strong connections in Polk County.
Broadcast TV might be difficult for Archer and Dolan to afford since the district incorporates three television markets. However, Archer’s ability to already be on cable gives him an advantage over Dolan. Cable ad buys allow the candidates more opportunities to target potential voters, but it may take a while longer for their message to penetrate. With few other political ads to compete with, more and more people are noticing Archer.
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