Campaign Spending

By: Philip Stewart
By: Philip Stewart

November 3, 2006

Senator George Allen was on the campaign trail Friday in Hampton, Virginia, as democratic challenger Jim Webb stopped by Norfolk State University.

Both candidates will be fighting hard this weekend to win Virginia's U.S. Senate seat.

"First and foremost they have to stay on message," explained David Wasserman, from UVa's Center for Politics. "They have to close with a message that resonates with Virginia's voters."

To get that message out, both Webb and Allen will spend big bucks on television ads over the weekend.

Webb will spend $4.4 million in the last week of campaigning.

Allen will shell out at least $2.2 million between Friday and Tuesday.

According to political analysts, there is something unusual with the final ad campaigns.

"Both of them are taking to the unique tact of closing with positive advertisements," said Wasserman.

However, while the candidates themselves may be taking the high road, not all political groups were following suit.

A new ad from the National Republican Senatorial Committee which arrived at the Newsplex Friday morning, directly attacks candidate Webb.

According to Wasserman, it could be too late for new messages or new attacks to make a difference.

"Any new lines of attack or any new allegations that come out from an opposing campaign are viewed with suspicion by both the media and voters," he said. "If candidates are behind and are seeking to break out a new attack, now probably isn't the time."

Nationwide, candidates are rushing out more than 600 new ads over the weekend. This final push will boost political advertising past the $2 billion mark for this election. That's even more than was spent on the presidential election in 2004.

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