I just saw a commercial for Terry Branstad’s gubernatorial campaign during halftime of the University of Northern Iowa’s game against Michigan State in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament. That was probably a good way to spend part of Branstad’s campaign war chest. An enormous number of Iowans must be watching that game, though who knows how many were paying attention during the halftime break. To my knowledge, this is the first television commercial run by a Republican candidate in the governor’s race.
I’ll post the video if I can find it on YouTube. The ad includes short clips from Branstad’s “comeback” speech in which he announced his candidacy. It highlights his key campaign promises: creating 200,000 new jobs, increasing family incomes by 25 percent, reducing government spending by “at least 15 percent” and giving Iowa children a world-class education. The commercial also features testimonials from unidentified Iowans about why they support Branstad (“He’s done the job before and he can do it again,” “He’s honest,” “He’s just a good man,” and so on). The viewer also sees some classic rural Iowa footage of Branstad’s campaign bus on the road, snow-covered fields, a country church and so on.
I happen to be taping the game so that my kids can watch it tomorrow, so if I have time later I will do a rough transcript of the ad. If you’re watching live, please post a comment to let me know how many times you saw the ad run during the game.
UPDATE: I didn’t do the transcript, because I found the video and posted that after the jump. Click “there’s more” if you want to watch the commercial.
LATE UPDATE: The Branstad ad ran again on Sunday during the Michigan State/Tennessee game. Craig Robinson predicted (or perhaps got a heads up) that the Branstad campaign would have bought ad time during the Elite Eight game in case UNI advanced.