Florida: The Bucks Could Stop Here
I was at home when I read the story about the Democratic National Committee threatening to disallow the Florida delegates from the convention, so I don’t know how much ad money is at stake, but one report put it at several million and I would guess that is enough that broadcasters in the state could get nervous.
The party says that unless Florida reverses its decision to move its primary up to Jan. 29, its delegates won’t count toward choosing the candidate. The Republican-controlled legislature voted to move up the date to make the state a more prominent primary layer, but according to the AP, party leaders argue Democrats in the state did not do enough to fight the change and stories over the past few days suggested state party leaders were not backing down, banking that the nominee would seat the delegates anyway rather than disenfranchise them, as it were.
But broadcasters should be concerned about another bank. Given that Florida was a huge swing state in a presidential election in recent memory, a lot of potential TV station primary ad dollars could dry up if candidates chose to spend money in states where the delegates actually count.
If I were a broadcaster, I would be nervous If I had read the following from a story in the St. Peterburg Times :
"an excuse to avoid spending precious campaign resources in Florida might actually be welcomed by some of the Democratic contenders. Winning the nomination requires winning delegates state by state, so why fight hard for a state with no delegates? "The attractiveness of not having to spend $5 million or $10 million in Florida has not gone unnoticed in some quarters," said Allan Katz of Tallahassee, a Barack Obama supporter and the only member of the DNC rules committee to vote with Florida Saturday."
My guess it that Florida will ultimately blink in the showdown and move its primary deeper into the season. I’m sure Florida broadcasters will be doing more than hoping, however.