President Barack Obama's re-election campaign has requested advertising rates in a number of key states, a sign that it could be close to airing its first television commercials of the 2012 race.
The president's campaign has sought the advertising information in 14 states, including Florida, Ohio and Virginia, expected to be heavily contested by Obama and his Republican opponent, according to a person familiar with the request. The person was not authorized to speak publicly about the campaign's internal deliberations and requested anonymity.
No decision has been made on when to begin putting television ads on the air, the person familiar with the request said.
Obama's campaign has worked to position itself for the general election, using top advisers and party leaders to portray Republican front-runner Mitt Romney as eager to change his position on key issues to advance his political interests while pushing an agenda that would benefit the wealthy. But the Obama campaign has avoided a large ad blitz, limiting its advertising to Web videos and online advertising on the websites of newspapers in Iowa and New Hampshire, the two early nominating states.
By making the inquiries for ad rates, the campaign is laying the foundation to begin a television advertising campaign in states that will be prized by both Obama and Romney in the general election. The campaign has requested the ad rates in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Obama has raised more than $220 million for his campaign and the Democratic National Committee, money that will be used for a massive ad campaign and get-out-the-vote operation for the November election.