Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is set to go up on the Iowa airwaves this week, according to a media buy schedule that Starting Line has seen. Her campaign is making a statewide ad buy worth around $42,000 from June 25 to June 30.
Hers will be the second presidential campaign to launch Iowa TV ads this year; John Delaney has been running a steady set of commercials since last year. A Super PAC backing Jay Inslee also ran some climate change-themed ads in support of Inslee earlier this year.
Gabbard is spending close to $22,000 in the Cedar Rapids market, advertising on KWWL, KGAN and KFXA. She’s putting $16,000 in the Sioux City market, most of that going to KTIV. Just $760 is being spent in the Des Moines area, all on WOI. And just under $3,000 is going to WHBF in the Davenport market.
The spots are scheduled to run right around the first presidential debates, set for this Wednesday and Thursday night, when lesser-known candidates like Gabbard have a chance to introduce themselves to a much wider audience. Making the most of those opportunities is key for Gabbard and others, so surrounding the debate nights with TV ads may help Iowa viewers focus in on her.
Gabbard has already been advertising in Iowa on the ground for a few months. Billboards with Gabbard’s face and website have popped up around Iowa, including along rural highways. Gabbard herself has made five different trips to Iowa this year, campaigning mostly with veterans groups or in liberal-leaning cities.
by Pat Rynard
Photo by Julie Fleming