Despite all the brave talk about Michigan and Pennsylvania being in play, fact is no one has spent a dime there in a long time. No state is truly competitive unless money is being spent. And if Mitt Romney were to win Michigan, or President Barack Obama Arizona, lots of other states would have already delivered the winning margin.
New Hampshire was an odd one—getting minimal spending from both sides. It doesn't look like Romney internals are giving them much hope there. They're spending just enough to keep a foot in the door, but there's no outright push for the state.
The opposite goes for Obama in North Carolina, where less than a million means they're not feeling too optimistic about winning it on the air. On the other hand, Republicans rightfully see it as a must-win, and are outspending Obama 4-1 in the state.
$12 million was spent cumulatively in both Florida and Ohio last week. Sucks to be them. Virginia wasn't far behind, with Team Red spending more in that state than any other.
In all, Republicans outspent us in every state except for Nevada. An argument can be made that this could be fueling some of Romney's gains the past week. Personally, I think it was all debate, since this crazy level of ad spending hasn't moved numbers before. I doubt they're really moving numbers now. But, of course, I have no way to test my hypothesis.
One thing I do know—they may be outspending us, but that doesn't mean voters are seeing more Republican ads:
Voters in Columbus, Ohio, saw 30-second television ads for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney while watching “Wheel of Fortune” on their CBS affiliate over three days in September. For Obama’s team, the order per spot cost $500. For Romney’s, the price tag on the order was more than five times steeper at $2,800 per ad.More examples, because this is nuts:
That gap – found in data filed with the Federal Communications Commission — is an outgrowth of an unusual TV-buying strategy by the Romney campaign. Media strategists on both sides of the political aisle, along with station managers who handle ad placement, expressed puzzlement to POLITICO about the way Romney’s TV operation does business.
According to available data, during the Emmy Awards on Sept. 23, both Obama and Romney purchased a 30-second ad during the 8-11 p.m. time block on WCPO, the ABC affiliate in Cincinnati, Ohio. Obama’s team paid $1,200 for its 30-second ad; Romney’s team paid $3,600 for its ad in the same time slot. The Obama team booked the ad on Sept. 11; Romney’s team booked it on Sept. 18.So the only factor at play isn't the amount spent, but the competence of the campaign buying the ads. In this case, we've got the better end of that deal.
On WEWS, the ABC affiliate in Cleveland, Ohio, Obama’s campaign paid $175 per 30-second spot on Good Morning America, during the 7-9 a.m. time slot, for the week of Sept. 12 to Sept. 18. Romney’s team paid $500 for an ad on GMA during the same time slot on the same dates. And on the local 6 p.m. news that week, Obama paid $400 for a 30-second spot; Romney paid $1,100. Obama’s ads were part of a month-long buy, from Sept. 4 to Oct. 1, while Romney’s were for Sept. 12 to Sept. 18.
One last note—the Koch Brothers, via their Super PAC Americans for Prosperity, are no longer playing at the presidential level. Their last ad hitting Obama came the second week of September. They've been off the air ever since, refocusing their efforts in state-level races where they clearly hope to get a bigger bang for their bucks.
5:13 PM PT: An oasis from all the negativity: