Speculation grew on Tuesday around Monday’s news of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s purchase of $105,000 of cable television ad buys in Florida to air on July 4th.
Newsom for California Governor 2022 has placed ad spending on Fox News in FLORIDA cable zones for July 4th
— Medium Buying (@MediumBuying) June 27, 2022
Many outlets have speculated that Newsom could be starting a dark horse campaign for the 2024 Democratic nomination for president. Others noted that the ads could be addressing former Californians in Florida over recent policies Florida has made over limiting LGBT and abortion rights. Others have theorized that California could be making an appeal for former Californians to return in light of those policies, something has already started happening in some cases. Finally, some speculate that Newsom may be going after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis himself, as the two have traded barbs for some time now over different policies and population shifts in each state.
The Newsom camp has been mum about the ads, only saying to “Stay Tuned” in a lone statement to the San Francisco Chronicle. Governor DeSantis and his team, however, firmly believe that Newsom will attack him and the state of Florida in the future ad. In a statement, a spokesperson for DeSantis said that his ads will be nothing more than a smear campaign.
“Gavin Newsom might as well light a pile of cash on fire. Pass the popcorn for his desperate attempt to win back the California refugees who fled the hellhole he created in his state to come to Florida,” said DeSantis’s spokesperson on Tuesday. “The people of Florida pay no mind to the pathetic smear campaigns from the Democrats and their allies in the corporate media. We’re too busy enjoying the freedom Governor Ron DeSantis has created in the Sunshine State.”
Outlets in Florida generally believe that the ads will be something about the California-Florida rift, while others, such as Fox News, leaned more on Newsom trying to stop Republican gains in many states.
Newsom’s ads in Florida
However, according to advertising and political experts, the truth will likely be a bit more mundane.
“$105,000 is not a lot for a big campaign or even a one-day message,” explained Jaya Hernandez, a media liaison between networks and ad companies in Florida, to the Globe on Tuesday. “Just by buying cable, you ignore the networks as well as more lucrative internet and streaming buys.”
“What Newsom is doing is not running for president or anything like that. With that kind of money, the ads are likely to be more directed to an above-35 audience. He’s going after specific people, and although I don’t know for sure, it’s probably addressing Floridians or certain Floridians about something. Beyond that, I’m going really into the weeds on this, but that is what the ad buys are looking like to me based on previous similar ads.”
Political experts noted that it is likely Newsom will be addressing the abortion and LGBT issues and might try to paint California in more of a positive light.
“Many see DeSantis as either an arbiter of doing the right thing or as foaming at the mouth nuts,” said political consultant Michele Tyler, who has worked in both California and Florida, to the Globe on Tuesday. “Newsom is either a guy trying to making things equitable and right or as a man who is leading the state down the drain and doesn’t even follow his own laws. DeSantis is picking off Newsom at a personal level, while Newsom has been more subtle and going right after the state and its policies.”
“That, with how much ad time he bought and where, shows that Newsom will probably have ads pointing out recent big decisions and how California is the opposite of Florida, or appeal to people to come to California, which, no matter which side you are on, is something a bit more outlandish.”
“This may also be his Checkers speech moment, where he goes on by himself and directly appeals to Floridians on what they want. Or better yet, doesn’t even bring up the differences between the states and speaks simply about the issues. That is more his style.”
“I’d be very surprised if he goes negative and has the ads give a bit of DeSantis speech, then turns the ads black and white and gives a negative message.”
“Governors don’t usually spar like this outside of elections, so this will be very interesting. Newsom and DeSantis. This could be little snippets of what we might see in 2028.”
Newsom’s ads are to run in Florida on Independence Day.
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