ATLANTA -- As soon as Oprah completes her round of celebrity interviews, Hollywood star look-a-like Lewis Massey comes across the TV screen, extolling the virtue of academic boot camps.
The 5 p.m. news gets a promo, and then Georgia's campaign rollout begins in earnest.
There's Mike Bowers promising to end quotas, Clint Day being dubbed a "proven conservative," Mark Taylor claiming credit for HOPE scholarships, Guy Millner vowing to reward good teachers and Roy Barnes sticking it to the bad guys.
"As governor, I'll build work camps and teach criminals to sweat," Mr. Barnes says. "Fences and barbed wire are cheap. And as governor, I'll string a lot of it ... and guess who'll do the work?"
Within the hour, the lineup is repeated, with Mr. Massey and his boot camps and Mr. Millner and his teachers thrown in an extra time or two for good measure.
The hurricane that is pre-primary political television advertising is passing directly over Georgia, deluging voters.
With so many new Georgians and complacency rampant in a booming economy, statewide candidates are spending more than $10 million on paid TV air time to stir voters to action.
And with so much advertising, the messages may be getting lost as the July 21 primaries near.
"It's tough. It's real tough right now," said Bobby Kahn, who helps run Mr. Barnes' campaign. "There is so much and they're all saying the same thing."
Candidates aren't necessarily saying the same thing. But it seems that way, in part because the advertising has been almost uniformly positive.
In 1990, the last time the governor and lieutenant governor races were free of incumbents, Zell Miller won the state's top office spending millions promoting a lottery for education.
This time around, every candidate has a plan to cut taxes, fight crime and and fix education. A few are addressing north Georgia pollution problems.
"Nothing has really stood out," said state Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Martinez. "The economy is going great and there is nothing to get angry about."
The problem for Mr. Bowers is that he expects to spend $600,000 on his TV campaign, or about the same as Mr. Millner, his chief rival for the GOP nomination, is doling out every two weeks.
Mr. Millner used the first few weeks of his advertising blitz in May to re-introduce himself to Georgians, in part because voter registration rolls have grown by about 1.1 million people since the last time he ran for governor in 1994.
Since then, he's strung together a series of issue ads, calling for elimination of car property taxes, smaller class sizes, teacher certification and merit pay.
The state already certifies teachers and has merit pay, although Mr. Millner says he wants to expand it.
Mr. Millner's not the only candidate using TV to call for things that already exist.
Mr. Massey, a Democratic candidate for governor, wants school report cards. Three groups, including the Georgia Department of Education, already produce them.
Mr. Massey wants to add school discipline figures to the reports and send them to parents. A report card put out by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation includes incidents of violence at schools. The Education Department sends such cards to schools to distribute. The report also is available on the Internet.
Mr. Kahn estimates the Barnes camp will have spent $3.4 million on TV advertising by the primary next week. He spent $1.2 million in 1990.
Massey officials say they will have doled out about $3 million. At $285,000 a week, Mr. Millner will have spent $2.5 million to $2.85 million by July 21.
While TV is taking up bigger and bigger portions of candidates' budgets, none of the top gubernatorial hopefuls says the day has come in Georgia politics when it is the only thing that matters.
"I don't think it (TV) has taken over. It's extremely important," Mr. Bowers said. "It's an indication of the relative strength of the candidate. Is it determinative? I don't know, but we're about to see."