Pearson: “Romney, facing high stakes on Saturday, turns up TV”–but TV is less and less effective for the troubled candidate

“DES MOINES —I f any Iowan doubts what Saturday’s Republican straw poll means to the chances of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, it looks like all they’ll have to do is turn on the TV,” writes the estimable Rick Pearson writing for

Romney unveiled a new commercial today directly asking supporters to come to Ames and take part in the straw poll. The ad also includes a toll-free number for people to call to grab a bus ride and get their $35 ticket paid by the campaign.For weeks, Romney’s lower-tier rivals in Iowa have mainly been using the radio airwaves to make their pitch for the straw poll, knowing that a poor showing could mark the end of the campaign trail for them.

But the dynamics are different for Romney in Saturday’s event. Not competing in the straw balloting are former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain and still unannounced former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson.

Still, the names of Giuliani, McCain and Thompson will be on the straw poll ballot and while Romney is the only high-profile candidate taking part, there are questions about what kind of showing he needs at the Iowa State University campus to give him a national bump in polling that shows him trailingmore

We have harped upon this string—the string of Romney’s incompetence in the form of his painfully expensive non-strategy—for weeks now. See: Ruffini: “Romney’s leads remind me of Howard Dean’s hard-earned leads in those states in 2004.

All that lifts Romney’s sagging poll numbers are massive media buys. But those media buys are becoming less and less effective; see: Romney’s massive media expenditures less and less effective; more on Romney and the law of diminishing marginal returns on investment.

The troubled candidate has few choices. See: Romney sees few viable options in early electoral strategy.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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