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Bush Has Millions to Buy TV Ads in Final 3 Weeks, Document Says

From the Washington Post

Republican presidential nominee George Bush has saved more than half of his $30-million-plus fall advertising budget to blitz the airwaves in the last three weeks of the race, with special emphasis on California, New Jersey and Ohio, an internal campaign document obtained by the Washington Post says.

More than one-third of the Bush campaign’s $15.2-million local television budget--or $5.3 million--has been earmarked for the hotly contested Golden State, with 43% of that to be spent between now and the Nov. 8 election, the document says.

Plans Revised Often

Sources said the document reflects major elements of Bush campaign strategy as it was being formulated last week. But the campaign revises such plans, according to differing scenarios, on an almost daily basis.

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For instance, Bush campaign sources said that, although the document indicates that no further television dollars are to be spent in Texas, where Bush is leading Democratic nominee Michael S. Dukakis in the polls, the campaign now plans to make purchases beyond the $692,000 worth it has bought so far.

Similarly, Bush strategists are considering whether to target substantial amounts of media money in states that until recently were considered to be leaning toward Dukakis, including Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New York.

The document is “not worth more than the paper it’s written on,” campaign manager Lee Atwater said. But other senior Bush aides, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it accurately portrays what the media strategy has been and the broad outlines of what it may be, absent any major shifts.

The document indicates that more than 55% of the campaign’s $10.1-million budget for network time will be deployed in the next three weeks, including $1.2 million on Nov. 7 alone, for a half-hour program on all three major networks.

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