From NBC's Carrie Dann
The two presidential campaigns spent over $15 million on TV ads in the week after the Republican National Convention, with Obama's team airing a higher percentage of negative ads than McCain's.
New numbers from the Wisconsin Advertising Project, the ad coding venture of the University of Wisconsin's political science department, show that the two campaigns were almost neck-and-neck in terms of total spending, with both hitting around $7.8 million in total ad expenditures for the week. Campaign ads hitting the airwaves as McCain returned to the road after Minneapolis showed a trend away from positivism, with 77% of ads from the Democratic nominee coding negative, compared to 56% of McCain's spots.
Another nugget worth noting: although their total spending was similar, Obama's campaign sponsored 97% of ads in support of its candidate, while the RNC pitched in for over half of McCain's ads – a total of 57%.
McCain's top spending target, with a bill of over $1.6 million for the week, was the pricy media markets of Pennsylvania, while Obama's heftiest sum was $1.3 million shelled out in Florida. Obama outspent McCain in red-leaning states like Virginia (where he spent $868,000 to McCain's $312,000), North Carolina, Missouri, and North Dakota, as well Indiana and Montana – where McCain is not even up on airwaves. But McCain funneled more cash than his rival into a handful of states that lean blue, including Iowa and Minnesota, and he out-advertised Obama by more than 3:2 in Pennsylvania.
Which lucky battleground residents are getting the most saturation? The total number of ads – including interest group placements – was highest for the week in Denver, CO, with the Detroit, Las Vegas, and Grand Rapids markets not far behind.