- The Washington Times - Friday, October 31, 2014

They might not get much sympathy from voters who have grown weary from saturated airwaves, but political ad buyers are discovering a tough landscape as they try to find precious air space to get their message out in the final days before Nov. 4.

Senate Majority PAC, the leading Democratic super PAC this cycle devoted to supporting incumbent Democratic senators, was willing to shell out $10,000 for one 30-second ad during a Friday evening newscast in New Hampshire, but WMUR-TV had to credit the group’s account, citing “oversold inventory.”

The AP reports that in the past two weeks, WMUR has told political groups that their ads during “Good Morning America,” ”General Hospital” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” among others, could not be aired because the station had over-sold.

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is battling Republican Scott Brown in the closely-watched contest in New Hampshire this year.

And for those groups who didn’t lock in their times earlier at a lower rate, the cost can be astronomical this late in the game. Two years ago, the Romney campaign and its Republican allies were outspending President Obama and the Democrats in key states late in the 2012 presidential campaign, but the Obama campaign and Democratic allies were able to get more bang for their buck thanks in part to booking air time early, when there was less demand.

This late in the game, candidates also have to be offered the lowest available rate under federal campaign finance law — but it’s not the same for outside groups. Senate Majority PAC, for example, recently signed a contract to buy one minute of air time during “Dancing with the Stars” for $24,000.

A conservative super PAC, Ending Spending Action Fund, is spending more than $1 million for ads during the final five days of the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire.

The group also reportedly snatched up a 30-second ad during this week’s Patriots game on the Boston CBS affiliate for a cool $100,000.

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