Will Giuliani's Exit Lead to Romney Ad Blitz?

Media Likes McCain's Story, so Romney Will Have to Pay for Exposure

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With Giuliani exiting the Republican primary race, that leaves two contenders (and Ron Paul, who doesn't have a shot, but has a lot of money). The media, which seems to have learned absolutely nothing from Iowa and New Hampshire is ready to crown John McCain the victor, saying he has an early lead and momentum. We've all seen how much those two are worth in this election cycle. Just ask Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ... or Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani.

The simple fact is that the "Magic Number" of delegates needed to capture the Republican nomination is 1,191. As it now stands John McCain has 97 and Mitt Romney has 74. On the other hand, Barack Obama seems to be getting all the media love despite trailing Hillary Clinton in delegates 158 to 232 (total needed: 2,025). So what does this mean for ad spending?

Be sure to check out Evan Tracey's look at what's happened so far -- and his suggestion that Ron Paul will finally uncork all that money he's been hoarding after Feb. 5. But for all practical purposes, we now have a two-person race on either side of the aisle (now that John Edwards has left to devote more time to his hair). We've already seen Obama jump in to the costly New York ad market (and Hillary following). If I had to guess -- and this is only a guess -- I'd say we should expect Romney to dip into his considerable wealth to buy some more media time. Judging by the way the story's currently playing out in the media -- John McCain the Maverick stages a comeback -- Romney's certainly not going to get much free media, so he's going to have to pay for it.
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