Heavy Ad Campaigns Could Hit or Miss in November

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ballot measures on prescription drugs and new rules for labor unions are raking in tens of millions of dollars. In contrast, campaign amounts on either side of Proposition 73 are still small -- barely edging into seven figure totals.  And that means less all-important media time in the weeks leading up to the election, according to Steve Smith, campaign manager for “No on Prop. 73.” 

 “Probably this won’t be on TV until the last couple of weeks. But in terms of emotional intensity and pull on voters this is a very emotional issue.” 

However, Sacramento State University Communications Professor Barbara O’Connor says the emotion of the issue will likely carry both sides of Prop 73 beyond the need for expensive advertising.

“It is a bi-polar debate, you either believe that parents have a responsibility and it’s a two-way responsibility or you don’t. And so I don’t think that is a debate that requires a whole lot of television time."

O’Connor says those with the cash to air plenty of ads may suffer in the end—by turning off the voters they’re depending on to turn out on election day.