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As Obama Plans 24-State Blitz, GOP Hopefuls Rein In Spending

With McCain making only a token television buy, said Evan Tracey of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, Romney may be reluctant to risk more of his personal fortune on commercials. "How much do your odds improve with a big ad buy at this point?" Tracey asked. "He's not competing against a Clinton or Obama, where money's not an issue."

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has made a small national cable buy for an ad that calls for the Internal Revenue Service to be abolished.

While the campaign has been in full swing for nearly a year, analysts say, the latest round of advertising could be pivotal because many voters in the Super Tuesday states are tuning in for the first time.

The Clinton ad featuring the skydiver says that "our economy could be heading into free fall," citing foreclosures, interest rates and health-care costs. As the skydiver's parachute unfurls, the spot touts Clinton as "the person you can depend on to fix the economy and protect our future."

In the other ad, Clinton praises the nation's "can-do spirit" and, in a veiled swipe at Obama, says: "We know you can't solve economic problems with political promises." A third ad quotes from a New York Times editorial endorsing her.

One Obama ad features excerpts of his speech after winning Saturday's South Carolina primary, in which he declares: "This election is about the past versus the future. . . . Don't tell me we can't change. Yes, we can." In another, he promises a middle-class tax cut and an end to the Iraq war. A third spot is more biographical, with Obama beginning: "My parents weren't rich. My father left me when I was very young."

Both Democrats are targeting Hispanic voters. Clinton is running a Spanish-language ad in such states as Arizona and California that says: "Millions of Hispanic families live with the fear of not having health insurance. . . . Hillary is our friend and will help us."

Obama's Spanish-language ad, also airing in Arizona and California, features Luis V. Gutierrez, a congressman from Chicago who touts him as a leader on immigration reform. "We know what it feels like being used as a scapegoat just because of our background and last name," Gutierrez says.


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