Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, in essence, is trying to do just that. His campaign has purchased $250,000 of advertising time -- on Fox News. The ad buy starts on Friday and goes through Aug. 9. Because Fox will use the candidates' standing in national polls to whittle down a field of 16 Republican candidates, the exposure that comes from a national cable television buy is extremely valuable. And while Mr. Christie's standing in the top 10 is fairly sturdy -- but not guaranteed -- this ad buy is aimed to help buttress his standing.
"Any Republican who wants to make it on the debate stage has ever incentive in the world to spend all of their money doing everything they can to boost their national poll numbers. You can't boost your national poll numbers by going to county fairs in Iowa and New Hampshire, and doing all of the other traditional campaign stuff that candidates would usually be doing this time of the year in the early states. "No, if the only thing that matters is boosting your national poll numbers, well, if you're a Republican running for president, you better spend all the resources you've got increasing your national profile with Republican voters who might someday get called by a pollster. That's how you have to fight for your political life right now. You need to increase your national profile among Republican voters. "How would you do that? Well, you better start running ads on Fox News. I mean, the Fox News debate rules basically instruct the candidates to start spending their campaign money buying ads on the Fox News Channel. It's amazing. It's a great racket that Fox has set up."