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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

GOP Nomination Process: Time and Money

Patrick O'Connor and Reid J. Epstein write at The Wall Street Journal:
The expanding roles of super PACs and a condensed nominating calendar are fundamentally transforming the way the 2016 primary campaign will be conducted. Gone are the days when campaigns could just scrape together enough money to advertise in Iowa and New Hampshire, counting on an early victory to spur an infusion of fresh contributions.
With 16 Republicans running and the polls muddled, this year more than ever, a premium is attached to building up enough money for a mad dash through big states. Roughly 62% of the delegates will be allotted in the first 52 days of voting, from Feb. 1 to March 22. Eleven states hold nominating contests on March 1, including Texas with its 20 media markets.
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Because delegates will be allotted to candidates based on their percentage of the vote until March 15, there is a chance the nomination remains up-for-grabs even after March 1. And the tight timeline means it will be difficult for an underfunded candidate, like former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was in 2012, to score an early win and collect enough money to get on the air in the March 1 media markets.
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TV stations must give candidates a low rate, but supply and demand will dictate the cost for super PACs. In 2012, Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s super PAC was charged $3,600 to air three 30-second ads during one New Hampshire program; the Romney campaign paid half that for the same time.