AdWatch: Alabama

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 13 2012 2:46 PM

AdWatch: Alabama

HELENA, Ala. -- If Mitt Romney wins Alabama, he will do so with the expensive playbook that's worked everywhere else: Beating his opponents into drooling submission with ads. The only TV ads I've seen here have been his. Other candidates have bought up time, yes, but according to Greg Giroux, Romney and his Super PAC have outspent Newt Gingrich better than 4 to 1 in Alabama and 3 to 1 in Mississippi; they've outspent the pro-Santorum PAC by 9 to 1 and 5 to 1. Sixty-five percent of all TV ads here have come from Restore Our Future.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Ah, but there's always radio! Driving around I heard ads from Gingrich's campaign and from Santorum's. From Newt:

Newt Gingrich has a plan for $2.50 gas by drilling here at home, building the Keystone Pipeline, and cutting regulation. The Gingrich $2.50 plan -- right for America, and right for my wallet.

From Rick:

While Romney was writing a personal check funding Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, Rick Santorum was writing the law that ended partial birth abortions forever. While Romney was raising taxes and fees over $700 million, Rick Santorum was voting against every tax increase and fighting for a Balanced Budge Amendment. When Romney supported the taxpayer bailout for his Wall Street millionaire buddies, Rick Santorum opposed the bailouts. And while Romney was creating his big government entitlement program called Romneycare, Rick Santorum was leading the fight to end the welfare entitlement and sending millions from welfare to work. Mitt Romney. He may have lots of money for lots of TV ads. But Rick Santorum has something Mitt Romney will never have: A conservative record.

I've heard less of this than I've heard ads for the Chief Justice race, an unexpectedly fascinating contest between an incumbent, a scandalized former attorney general, and Roy Moore, the Ten Commandments judge. His radio ad features a long James Dobson endorsement and an original song for a guy whose career has stalled out since his failed 2006 and 2010 gubernatorial bids.

He fights for freedom, family and faith
Hey, Alabama! It's a brand new day

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


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