Tom Campbell runs into a campaign cash crisis

June 2, 2010 7:44:41 PM PDT
There is a dramatic change in strategy in the Republican race for Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer's seat. The long-time front runner is pulling his campaign advertising with the election just six days away.

Tom Campbell cancelled his television ads on Wednesday and his Republican opponents are spinning it as a collapse.

"It's a very tough economy and no candidate has been able to raise the money that they'd planned," says Campbell.

Campbell admits he had to cut back on advertising until he can raise the money to pay for it.

"Indeed, I'm a fiscal conservative in my own campaign as well as in public service," says Campbell.

He's smiling about it, but political analysts, such as Henry Brady, Ph.D., the dean of UC Berkeley's Goldman School, will tell you it is no joke to go dark in the last week of a campaign.

"When you stop putting money into advertising a week before the election, clearly either "A" you've run out of money or "B" you don't think you're going to win and maybe a combination of the two," says Brady.

That is certainly the way Campbell's Republican opponents are pitching it.

"Well I think it shows that Tom Campbell is continuing his collapse and in all likelihood is going to end up finishing in third place," says Senate candidate Chuck DeVore.

"He has been unable to inspire the donor base which is why he doesn't have the resources he thought he would have heading into this final stretch," says Carly Fiorina campaign spokeswoman Julie Soderlund.

But in fact campaign records show since January, all three Republican contenders have inspired the donor base pretty equally. The big difference is Carly Fiorina has kicked in another $5.5 million of her own and on Wednesday, Fiorina launched a new television ad.

As of Tuesday, 1.4 million Republican ballots have been turned in statewide, but another 3.7 million are expected between now and Election Day, and the polls do show a large number of voters still undecided.

"It's conceivable that in the last week people might learn some bits of information that might change their minds, but that's going to be very hard if Campbell doesn't have any TV advertising out there and if he's just getting battered by Fiorina advertising," says Brady.

Campbell says that's not going to happen. Wednesday afternoon he told ABC7 he is going back on the air as early as Thursday.

"We've been careful to plan how we can spend our funds and as we raise the funds to accumulate them so that we have an effect and that's what you're going to see in the last days," says Campbell.

On Wednesday night, Campbell was attending a fundraiser in San Francisco and is promising a big TV push in the final days of this campaign in the Republican nomination.


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