W.H. contenders compete for Olympic airtimeMost Americans are looking forward to the excitement and round-the-clock TV programming of the London Olympics, beginning later this month. But for candidates, both in the race for the White House and in state-level contests, the Summer Games pose a unique problem: how to break through to the public when, for more than two weeks, the country will be focused on who is winning the gold medal.But President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney have already indicated their willingness to compete, not ceding any ground on the airwaves. The presidential contenders, and their allies, have already reserved at least $13.7 million in TV ad time to compete with the games.On the presidential level, it’s a question of how to maintain the late-summer momentum — and aggressive advertising pace set by both campaigns — and harness the optimism and enthusiasm for the Olympics without overdoing it.And for a handful of candidates in competitive Senate races in which their primary falls during the games, the challenge will be getting any attention at all.Photo Credit: (Bill Kuchman/AP)

W.H. contenders compete for Olympic airtime

Most Americans are looking forward to the excitement and round-the-clock TV programming of the London Olympics, beginning later this month. But for candidates, both in the race for the White House and in state-level contests, the Summer Games pose a unique problem: how to break through to the public when, for more than two weeks, the country will be focused on who is winning the gold medal.

But President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney have already indicated their willingness to compete, not ceding any ground on the airwaves. The presidential contenders, and their allies, have already reserved at least $13.7 million in TV ad time to compete with the games.

On the presidential level, it’s a question of how to maintain the late-summer momentum — and aggressive advertising pace set by both campaigns — and harness the optimism and enthusiasm for the Olympics without overdoing it.

And for a handful of candidates in competitive Senate races in which their primary falls during the games, the challenge will be getting any attention at all.

Photo Credit: (Bill Kuchman/AP)