Third quarter Financial Disclosures suggest that Tim Spear may be in trouble in the NC2 House race.  Expenditures for the incumbent show that internal polling data may have prompted an intense advertising blitz.  Sensing they were losing ground,  the NC Democratic Party (NCDP) stepped in to help the embattled incumbent.

While Mr. Spear had been advertising in newspapers since mid-August, it wasn’t until after he received polling data from Public Policy Polling that he ramped up his advertising campaign.  Mr. Spear did not release the results of the polling which suggests that they were not favorable to him.  On September 13th, a few days after putting up a Facebook Page, Mr. Spear paid $1,000 to Public Policy Polling, a Democrat leaning polling firm..  The same day, he paid $410 for a website.  Shortly thereafter, $4,600 was spent on cable television advertising and $4,800 was spent on direct mail.  Donations from PACs (Political Action Committees) helped fuel this advertising blitz.  In addition, the NCDP House Caucus donated $11,000 in cash in October to Mr. Spear while the NCDP kicked in $10,600 for direct mail, which probably included the disastrous Trooper Blooper mailer.  In all, advertising expenditures on Tim Spear’s behalf totaled around $33,000, which is 65% more than was spent by his opponent.

Steinburg, with less cash to work with, used alternative advertising methods of advertising.  He has been avid user of Facebook since his campaign began in early spring.  He has over 700 friends, compared to Spear’s 50+ friends.  His website went up in March.  He began advertising in newspapers in mid July, small ads at first, and then increasing their frequency and size as the election season progressed.  He used billboards, magnetic car signs, t-shirts and bumper stickers to increase his name recognition.  The NC Republican Party kicked in about $6,500 for advertising, mostly direct mail, for Mr. Steinburg in October bringing his expenditures for the quarter to just under $20,000.

With the election just two days away and Spear reeling from the Trooper Blooper fiasco, Steinburg may be looking at pulling out an upset in Marc Basnight’s backyard.  Keep a close eye on this race Tuesday night.  It may well be a harbinger for the rest of the state.

Click to see the Disclosures:  Spear Q3 2010 Steinburg Q3 2010

Mr. Steinburg’s campaign filed a 48 hour Disclosure on Friday for the $6500 in-kind contribution from the NC Republican Party.  It has not been posted by the State Board of Elections website yet.

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