Candidates, Retailers Vie For Attention on TV

DES MOINES, Iowa - In Iowa, 'tis the season for TV pitches, political and commercial. By the time Iowans ring in the New Year, they may be sick of both.

An earlier date for Iowa's caucuses probably means presidential candidates will run more television ads from mid-November through December, the height of the Christmas shopping season when retailers want to promote sales.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Moving the caucuses up 11 days to Jan. 3 also will force candidates to pay top dollar for TV ads over the holidays and soften their messages to avoid violating the serenity of the season. The same equation applies in New Hampshire, whose first-in-the-nation primary will follow the Iowa caucuses five days later.