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Yahoo: RNC out of Wisconsin, Maine; focusing on red states

Toe Jam

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WASHINGTON - The Republican National Committee is halting presidential ads in Wisconsin and Maine, turning much of its attention to usually Republican states where GOP nominee John McCain shows signs of faltering.

The party's independent ad operation is doubling its budget to about $10 million and focusing on crucial states such as Colorado, Missouri, Indiana and Virginia where Democrat Barack Obama has established a foothold, according to a Republican strategist familiar with presidential ad placements.

Florida and North Carolina have also been in the RNC ad mix. Pennsylvania is the only Democratic leaning swing state apparently left in the party's ad campaign.

The shift in advertising resources suggests that the RNC has decided to focus on defending reliably Republican-voting states against Obama's onslaught of advertising. Flush with money, Obama is outspending the joint efforts of the Republican Party and the McCain campaign by more than 2-1.

While a pullout from Wisconsin is a significant strategic move, it does not represent a full GOP retreat from the state. McCain's campaign has notified Wisconsin stations that it planned to continue to buy air time through Oct. 26.

Like McCain, the RNC's independent ad operation has targeted Obama with critical ads.

The Republican Party has been helping McCain through various means. It had been spending more than $5 million a week on ads independently of the campaign. It also has teamed up with the campaign to run combined ads whose costs are split by the campaign and the RNC in certain situations allowed by federal election law.

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I agree, JLC. It would alleviate a lot of paranoia and anger (it might create new paranoia and anger too, but it would be a great release as well).

Of course, the most important thing isn't winning, but what the winner will do afterwards. The Presidential Race is one of the few races where you win by getting to the start line.

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