Trump campaign outspending Clinton on TV

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s presidential campaign is finally spending more money than Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE’s.

Trump’s campaign will spend almost $11.7 million on television ads set to run in 11 states this week, topping Clinton’s spending on ads for the first time. The Clinton campaign is spending $10.5 million on advertising in seven states. 


Big spending by a pro-Clinton outside group will mean Democrats are still outspending the GOP overall, but the spending by Trump nonetheless represents a shift for the Republican presidential nominee, who has spent relatively little on television advertising until recently.

Trump will drop more than $3.3 million on advertisements in the crucial swing state of Florida this week.

The campaign is also spending more than $1 million each in North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, three states Trump must win if he hopes to reach the 270 electoral votes necessary to take the White House.

Trump’s team has also purchased airtime this week in Colorado, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, Nevada, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Trump is airing the ads with his campaign in free-fall, according to recent polls. A survey released Tuesday by The Washington Post found Trump trailing Clinton, the Democratic nominee, in nine battleground states. It also found Trump with just a 2-point advantage in Texas.

The Clinton campaign is spending $3.1 million on the Florida airwaves this week. Clinton’s team has purchased almost $1.9 million in ads in Pennsylvania, where polls show the Democrat with a sizable lead, and more than $1 million in ads in North Carolina, Nevada and Ohio.

Overall, the amount of television advertising surrounding the presidential contest is down significantly from four years ago. That’s in large part because of Trump’s reliance on earned media, rather than paid advertising. 

Since the middle of September, nearly 90,000 pro-Clinton advertisements have aired on television, according to a new study from the Wesleyan Media Project. Just under 28,000 pro-Trump ads have run during the same time.

Four years ago, President Obama’s backers paid for more than 141,000 individual advertisements between Sept. 16 and Oct. 13, while groups backing GOP nominee Mitt Romney paid for 114,000 ads.

The Clinton campaign has purchased nearly $1.2 million in advertising on national cable channels. The Trump campaign will spend almost $500,000 on cable ads this week. Both campaigns use national cable to reach voters across the country tuning in to the MLB playoffs and college football games.

Though she is being outspent nationally, Clinton’s allies are picking up the slack. Priorities USA Action, the super PAC backing Clinton’s campaign, is spending $9.4 million this week, including $2.5 million in Florida, $1.5 million in Ohio, and more than $1 million in North Carolina and New Hampshire.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is the only major outside group backing Trump. NRA affiliates will spend $3.6 million on television ads this week in nine states, including more than half a million dollars in North Carolina, Nevada and Ohio. Another outside group is spending nearly $650,000 attacking Clinton in Wisconsin.

Priorities USA Action aired more than four times as many advertisements as NRA affiliates over the last month, Wesleyan reported.

All told, Democrats are outspending Republicans by nearly $4 million this week. Democrats will spend more than Republicans on television advertisements in seven states — Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Republicans are outspending Democrats in Colorado, Maine, Virginia and Wisconsin, as well as in Indiana, which is not traditionally considered a swing state.

In crucial media markets, the Democratic advantage is even more significant. Ads backing Clinton or bashing Trump have accounted for 88 percent of all political spots running in Des Moines, Iowa; 86 percent of Philadelphia ads; and more than 80 percent of total spots in Dayton, Ohio; Orlando, Fla.; Raleigh, N.C.; Las Vegas; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Cleveland.

Pro-Clinton groups have paid for more than three-quarters of the political spots airing in Greensboro and Charlotte, N.C., as well as in Reno, Nev., and Tampa, Fla.

Despite the tone of the campaign, throughout which Clinton has questioned Trump’s fitness for office and Trump has suggested Clinton ought to be in jail, the campaigns are actually running more positive advertisements than any other presidential campaign since 2000. More than half of Trump’s advertisements are positive, according to the Wesleyan Media Project, and more than a third of Clinton’s ads have been positive spots.

By contrast, just 6 percent of political advertisements run between the middle of September and the middle of October in 2012 were positive, while almost 70 percent were negative.

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