The primary election is less than two weeks away and two Arkansas Democratic Congressional candidates are running television commercials to make their cases to the voters.
In the First Congressional District, Democratic candidate Clark Hall is the first to go on the air in that race. Hall's ad is a fast-paced bio spot with a humorous twist. The ad was produced by Struble Eichenbaum Communications, the same media consultants who did Governor Beebe's two previous gubernatorial races.
You can watch Hall's ad here.
Hall faces Scott Ellington and Gary Latanich in the May 22 Democratic primary. When I asked Ellington's campaign if they planned to air any TV ads, the reply I received from the campaign spokesperson was, “The campaign doesn't comment on specific tactics or strategy.”
My guess is their campaign just doesn't have the funds to go on TV. Ellington's latest fundraising report filed yesterday with the Federal Election Commission show they've only raised a total of $54,815 and had a cash on hand balance of $12,253 as of May 2. No expenditures for TV on their latest report.
In early April, I wrote about Ellington's lackluster fundraising efforts and at the time I had assumed that Ellington would kick-up his fundraising operation and have an impressive fundraising month for April. I assumed incorrectly. If El
lington does win the nomination, he's going to have to get serious about fundraising.
Clark Hall's latest FEC report is not yet online, but as of March 31, that campaign had raised $224,042 and had a cash-on-hand balance of $130,257.
Fourth Congressional District candidate Q. Byrum Hurst is also on the air with a spot entitled “Fight” and it was produced by Allan Crow and Associates of Atlanta. The ad is more issue-oriented than Hall's, but it is still an effective spot.
Hurst's latest FEC report is not yet online, but as of March 31, his campaign raised $102,489 and had $95,310 on hand. I couldn't find any of Senator Gene Jeffress' FEC reports online, but it must be noted Jeffress has publicly made the point that he wasn't going to focus much on fundraising. If Jeffress does win the Fourth Congressional District nomination, he'll have to get serious about running a modern campaign.
If neither Jeffress nor Ellington go up on television, it will provide for an interesting post-election case study on the power of candidates with television advertising facing off against candidates with name recognition in their geographic base, but who didn't have money for television.
Do TV ads trump all, or can built-in name recognition overcome the power of television? Stay tuned.
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