Last night on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” Delaware Senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell made what most are considering a “gaffe.” O’Donnell, during an interview with host Sean Hannity, announced that she would no longer be focused on doing national media. Many immediately saw this as a huge mistake, arguing she needed to continue doing national media to get her name recognition up, and to continue to fundraise.
So is name recognition really an issue? According to a Pew Research Center study, O’Donnell has accounted for nearly one third of the news stories about the midterm election, from Sept. 13-19. That same week stories about the midterm election itself, accounted for nearly one third of all news. Needless to say, the voters know who O’Donnell is.
The other reason critics have panned her idea of not doing national media, is the fundraising aspect. But when you take a look at the money she has raised, I’m not sure that’s going to be an issue. According to her website www.christine2010.com, they’ve raised nearly $2.3 million. In a state as small as Delaware, that money should go a long way to reaching out, giving her the ability to saturate the tiny state’s airwaves.
The strategy of cutting off national media isn’t a new one for this election cycle, either. Rand Paul, the Republican nominee for senate in Kentucky, has done the exact same thing and has seen his poll numbers steadily rise. Rand’s Real Clear Politics average lead is over eight points, well outside the margin of error. As you can see from the RCP chart below, since Paul has stopped doing national media earlier this summer he’s seen his poll numbers steadily climb:
The bottom line is that the national media can only help so much. If O’Donnell wants to connect with Delaware voters, she must have feet on the ground, and she must be out there meeting people and showing people why she is capable of being the next senator from Delaware.
While going on “Hannity,” Mark Levin, and other national outlets can help garner national attention and fundraise, usually the person who campaigns the hardest has the edge.