There are a few other things worth noting about this ad buy, which a media source says is about $300,000 between now and next Tuesday, roughly three-quarters of which will be spent on local television in Manchester and one-quarter on local television in Boston. It comes only a couple of days after top Giuliani strategists held a conference call in which they downplayed their candidate’s need to do well in New Hampshire. And there are signs that it was a relatively sudden decision: I’m told the buy comes as something of a surprise to the other campaigns, which have sophisticated early-warning systems in the television ad buy world.
Bottom line: It is hard not to conclude that his strategists take Giuliani’s lackluster poll numbers in the Granite State more seriously than they let on. After all, they have been investing other resources in New Hampshire well before this ad: Giuliani has held 55 events there since January, more than in any other state, and his campaign has also been spending on direct mail. Now, they step their up their game, leading with an expensive 60-second spot, which will be aired over the next three days (and get lots of free play on political cable), to be followed by a 30-second version of the ad, which we haven’t seen yet.
UPDATE: Giuliani spokeswoman Maria Comella disputes the suggestion, being pushed by other campaigns, that this ad marks some kind of abrupt tactical change on the part of the Giuliani operation. She tells me: “This has been the date pretty much since we started thinking about launching our ad campaign.”