hen McCain’s campaign ran aground earlier in the year in the wake of the immigration debate and his campaign’s financial woes many counted him out. The question now is whether he come back not only politically but financially. The good news for McCain: he is making hay out of his Woodstock quip with two ads, one using Fox footage( to which Fox objects) and one without.
Both ads are running in what McCain spokesperson Jill Hazelbaker describes as a “significant statewide buy” in New Hampshire although she declined to give details as to the extent/duration of the buy. His latest McCain Update
makes good use of the buzz over his ad explaining : “Our latest ad only begins to expose Hillary Clinton’s attempts to spend tax payers’ money on frivolous, wasteful projects. As John McCain said Sunday night, ‘No one can be president of the United States that supports projects such as these.’ Your contribution will help make sure this holds true.” The bad news: his financial situation remains precarious
. Hazelbaker indicates no decision has been made on whether to accept matching funds. But the moment of truth may be drawing near. Without funds, he may not have the resources for additional buys in NH or in his other identified battleground states of Iowa and South Carolina (not to mention other possible targets such as Michigan and Florida). But there is good reason why the option to receive matching funds is the last, last resort for campaigns.Under matching fund rules
candidates would be limited in primaries to expenditure caps in each state, some of which are quite low( a bit over $800,000 in NH for example). In the general election the restricted expenditures for matching fund recipients become even more problematic. Although exact figures for the 2008 limits are not yet out, the FEC indicates that if the election were held this year a candidate receiving matching funds would be limited to $81.78M in the general election. In the face of Hillary’s gargantuan fundraising machine this would certainly be a huge handicap for McCain. Bottom line: McCain’s debate performance, a revival of favorable media coverage and this latest ad campaign may be his best and last chance to turn his campaign’s financial ship around.