Cash-strapped Democrat Hutto has web-only ad out in Senate race

Brad Hutto, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat held by Lindsey Graham, released a campaign ad on YouTube on Thursday.

Democrat Brad Hutto's campaign for U.S. Senate has released its first web video of the November race against Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham.

How deep the Internet-aimed ad will reach the electorate is debatable, a local political scientist said, given that TV remains the chosen medium of most well-heeled politicians.

Web-only video is "all about getting your message out as cheaply as possible," said Scott Buchanan, political scientist at The Citadel.

"I think it's a financial thing," he added of the choice to go directly to the web.

The main theme in the Hutto ad is that Graham has spent 20 years in Washington and has been paying more attention to events in Washington and overseas, than at home.

"It's time to tell Lindsey Graham that we want our Senate seat back," Hutto says.

"You'll hear that again, I can tell you that," spokesman Lachlan McIntosh said of the theme of targeting Graham's Washington and global attention.

McIntosh did not say when the Hutto camp will begin broadcasting on TV.

Hutto's last campaign disclosure report, from the end of June, showed him having only $51,109 available in his campaign account.

Graham, meanwhile, reported about $2.7 million in cash on-hand after enduring a tough primary fight against six challengers. Also in the race is independent Thomas Ravenel.

Buchanan said that if Hutto's goal was to have a presence among young voters who are the most Internet savvy, it might not hit home.

"They don't care about campaign ads," he said, "especially when they are surfing" the web.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.