Analyst: Shays hurt by lack of television ads

Former Rep. Chris Shays is the only Senate candidate who has not run television commercials, and that’s likely to hurt him, an analyst said.

Shays, a Republican, faces Linda McMahon in the Aug. 14 primary. But he had only about $326,000 in his campaign fund on June 30, the end of the last federal reporting period.

Jennifer Duffy of the Cook Political Report said television advertising is “a necessity” in the Senate race.

“(But) Shays doesn’t have the money to run ads even if he wanted to,” Duffy said. “This does hurt his effort to win the primary. It is very unlikely that a grass-roots effort can carry him to victory, especially since McMahon is running ads and has an equal, if not superior, grass-roots campaign of her own.”

According to Shays’ latest filing with the Federal Election Commission, his campaign has spent more than $1 million in a bid to win retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman’s seat.

Most of that money paid for staff salaries, rent, consulting and fundraising.

Shays also paid himself back $100,000 he had loaned to his campaign. He also spent $2,250 for an internal poll and $1,456 on copies of Republican strategist Karl Rove’s book “Courage and Consequence.”

Shays campaign spokeswoman Amanda Bergen said copies of the book were distributed at a fundraiser in Greenwich that featured Rove.

Bergen also said the Shays campaign will not release the results of the internal poll.

Meanwhile, state and national Democrats are largely ignoring Shays and have started to attack McMahon, demanding that the wealthy former World Wrestling Entertainment executive release her tax returns and blasting her for taking advantage of the low tax rate assessed on investment income.