Are we now reaching the saturation point in TV ads? It’s possible that $45-50 million could be spent on the presidential race this week alone – in August (!!!)… Romney campaign looking to turn page on a rough last seven weeks… Here’s one way it’s trying to achieve that: by announcing that Team Romney (campaign, RNC, victory fund) raised more than $100 million in July… Yesterday’s tragic shooting in Wisconsin… The Paul Ryan VP boomlet… GOP convention unveils a partial list of its speakers… Washington Post lands a punch on Plouffe… And the New Republic scrutinizes Stu Stevens.
*** Reaching the saturation point: Last week, the campaigns, political parties, and outside interest groups spent almost $40 million in TV ads in the presidential contest, according to ad-spending data from SMG Delta. And this week, with the Americans for Prosperity $25 million buy for the next month (which breaks out to some $5 million per week), that number could very well jump up to $45 million or $50 million – in August. And in just 8-12 battleground states. We often struggle to find the words to describe UNBELIEVABLE amounts of money being spent on this presidential race. But close to $50 million in a week is absolutely stunning. It’s also unchartered territory. Are there diminishing returns on this advertising? Do ads become less effective? How do you break through the clutter? We just don’t know. But here’s one thing we do know: At some point, no matter how much more water you put on a towel, it becomes harder to make it wetter. That’s why they call it saturation.
*** Trying to turn the page: Make no mistake: For much of the past seven weeks, Mitt Romney and his campaign have found themselves on the defensive – on the Obama administration’s immigration announcement, the outsourcing charges, Bain Capital, the tax returns, and the overseas trip. Even on Friday, Team Romney was unable to completely change the subject with the better-than-expected jobs report (163,000 jobs created in July, though the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3%). But as we’ve pointed out before, the Romney campaign has two key moments this month that will allow it to turn the page: the VP pick and the GOP convention. Dan Balz put it well in yesterday’s Washington Post: “The best that can be said about how Mitt Romney fared in July is that he survived. That has only raised the stakes for what the presumptive Republican presidential nominee needs to do in August… Over the next four weeks, he will need to do what the campaign long has said he would do, which is to introduce himself to the voters in a much more positive and appealing way. He’s known now more for his wealth than anything else, and not in a way that’s helpful.”