Displaying just how important Florida is to the hopes of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, the leading candidates for the GOP nomination and their supporters are spending almost $22 million, flooding the television and radio airwaves with ads supporting their candidates -- and mostly attacking the other.
Romney and friends have outspent Gingrich and his allies about 5-to-1 with the Super PACs leading the way, spending -- so far -- a combined $12 million, according to Republican ad tracker Smart Media Group Delta. The pro-Gingrich one, Winning Our Future, promises to spend another $2 million before Tuesday, but, at the end of the day, Gingrich and his allies will be outspent by at least double.
Here are the numbers:
Pro-Romney: $15.7 million (Restore Our Future $8.8m; Romney: $6.9m)
Pro-Gingrich: $3.9 million (Winning Our Future: $2.8m; Gingrich: $1.1m)Source: NBC/Smart Media Group Delta
Today, Gingrich placed another $855,000 on broadcast and cable with serious buys in Ft. Myers (1000 points), Jacksonville (1500 points), Orlando (1000 points), Tampa (700 points), and West Palm Beach (875 points). You can also find his ads on AEN, CNN, Discovery, ESPN, ESPN 2, the Food Network, HGTV, the History Channel, TNT, and USA.
Romney's campaign added about another $200,000 in the Panhandle (Mobile-Pensacola) as well as Tallahassee. Before this, he was not on air in these markets.
And it's not just in Florida. Restore Our Future is going up with another week of ads in Michigan, trying to ensure Romney, whose father was governor of the state, wins there. So far, Restore has spent $245,000 in Michigan.