Mark Blumenthal | July 30, 2008
Topics: 2008 , ABC/Washington Post , Frank Newport , Gallup , Mike McDonald , Pew Research Center , RNC , USA Today , USAToday Gallup
The most important and useful campaign related data you will read today was released this morning by the Wisconsin Advertising Project. It tells us precisely what the two presidential candidates and political party organizations have been spending on television advertising in each state from June 3 to July 26. Here are the two key (forgive me) "money" paragraphs:
The McCain ad effort is more narrowly focused with intense attention being paid to four states -- Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. McCain is out-advertising the Democratic nominee in these four states where the RNC has also entered the fray. That said, in seven other battleground states where both campaigns are up (Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, and West Virginia) the McCain campaign is also out-advertising the Obama campaign.
Despite being out-advertised in nearly all states where both candidates are airing ads, Obama continues to advertise in states that have recently been unfavorable to Democratic presidential candidates. To date, Senator Obama is airing ads in 37 markets where McCain has not aired a single ad, while McCain is advertising in only two markets where Obama is not. Although Florida was the pivotal state in the 2000 presidential election, John McCain has not aired a single ad there since June 3rd. Senator Obama has aired over 7,000 ads in Florida since becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee and has spent more money in Florida than in any other state. Other states where only Obama’s paid advertising message is being heard are Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, and North Carolina.
The full pdf report has tables with specific data on each state and much more. Simply put, you ought to read recent poll data in the context of what candidates (and party committees) have been spending in each state. The numbers provided by the Wisconsin project are an absolutely invaluable tool.
The data were collected by TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG. I wrote more about CMAG and how it collects advertising data last October.
(H/T Ben Smith).