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The sprint to the special primary elections to succeed the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy is only a little over a month away, which means the democratic candidates are trying to get their messages out to voters on the airwaves before the Dec. 8 party vote.
Boston businessman Stephen Pagliuca has been blanketing television with his advertisements since he announced his campaign — most of which has been financed in large part with his personal wealth — but other candidates have not been as aggressive with TV ads.
"Everybody else is still holding off, waiting for the race to really get on the radar screen," WBUR's Senior Media Analyst John Carroll said.
So far, Carroll said many voters might not know Rep. Michael Capuano or City Year co-founder Alan Khazei. State Attorney General Martha Coakley, however, has a "brand name" because she holds a state-wide office, Carroll said.
On the Republican side, the two contenders — state Sen. Scott Brown and businessman Jack E. Robinson — have been altogether absent from television ads, which Carroll said is not all that surprising.
"There's no reason for them to really start spending any serious money until after the primary's over," Carroll said.
It is likely that direct mailings and automated phone calls will pick up as the primary election gets closer, but Carroll said most Democratic candidates will probably hold off on major advertising pushes until the week before the primary.
"That week is going to be an absolute full-tilt boogie, and I think that people are going to get a real sense of who's who in this race in that week," Carroll said.
Click "Listen Now" to hear Bob Oakes interview John Carroll.
This program aired on November 3, 2009.
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