WASHINGTON – Wesley Clark (search) is portrayed as the political outsider among Democrats running for president in a new television commercial that will begin running this week in states beyond New Hampshire.
The retired Army general from Arkansas is spending more this week in some states holding contests Feb. 3 while rivals John Kerry (search) and Howard Dean (search) run commercials only in media markets that reach New Hampshire voters.
Both Kerry and Dean will decide where to spend their money after New Hampshire's primary Tuesday. Seven states hold contests Feb. 3 -- Arizona, South Carolina, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Delaware and North Dakota.
Clark, Joe Lieberman (search) and John Edwards (search) are advertising in a mix of six of the states, and where they think they have the best chance to pick up the most delegates. No one is advertising yet in Missouri, the seventh state, but several candidates are considering it.
Clark has been on the air in five Feb. 3 states for weeks. In the final days, campaign advisers say he is continuing to run heavy levels of ads in South Carolina and is pumping in considerably more money than he had been into Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and North Dakota.
Advisers say Clark's new ad will make the case that he comes from a humble background and that he is an outsider, compared to other Democrats in the field. The ad, which was to start running Tuesday night, was to echo Clark's recent rhetoric on the campaign trail.
On Monday, Clark claimed independence from Washington politics, telling voters, "I'm an outsider. I'm not part of the problem in Washington."
Meanwhile, Lieberman is running ads in four Feb. 3 states. And, Edwards will be on the air in three on Tuesday, when he goes up in New Mexico for the first time.
Competitive multicandidate races in Iowa and New Hampshire led to unusually expensive advertising campaigns for Kerry and Dean. They each have spent about $2 million to run TV ads in New Hampshire. In Iowa, Kerry poured in at least $2.5 million, and Dean spent at least $3.5 million.
And, unlike their rivals, neither Kerry nor Dean is getting periodic checks from the federal government as matching funds. The two decided against accepting taxpayer money so they could raise and spend as much as they wanted.
Kerry, a Massachusetts senator who won Iowa's caucuses, has only run ads in Iowa and New Hampshire. Advisers say a win Tuesday, combined with last-minute TV advertising, would boost his momentum even further heading into next week's contests.
Dean, a former Vermont governor, has run commercials periodically in nine states. He had been on the air consistently for the past couple of weeks in South Carolina, New Mexico and Arizona but has not advertised there this week.
Campaign advisers say the decision to scale back advertising in those states does not indicate that Dean, who raised $41 million last year, is short on cash. They say Dean continues to run a national campaign even though his advertising is focused on New Hampshire.