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Obama Widens Swing State Advertising Gap

2 minute read | October 2008

Senator Barack Obama’s advertising in seven key swing states continues to surpass the number of ad units run by his presidential opponent, Sen. John McCain.

In Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, Obama placed 155% more ad units (62,022 vs. 24,273) than McCain between October 6 and October 26, 2008.

As of October 22, Obama had placed 150% more ad units (53,049 vs. 21,106) than McCain in those key battleground states.

Obama’s advertising continues to be heaviest in Florida, where he ran 18,909 ads between October 6 and October 26, outpacing McCain’s 5,702 ads by 232%. 

In recent days, McCain has closed the gap slightly, boosting his ad units by 22% in Florida — up from 4, 662 units as of October 22.  In comparison, Obama increased his ad units in the state by just 19% between October 22 and 26.

In Ohio, where McCain’s advertising has been most prolific during the last three weeks (5,800 units), Obama ran 15,227 ad units between October 6 and October 26, besting the GOP contender by 162%.

 Top 3 Swing States

(by ad units*)

Bottom 3 Swing States

(by ad units*)

John McCainOhio (5,800)

Florida (5,702)

Pennsylvania (5,366)

Georgia (22)

Missouri (1,763)

Virginia (2,669)

Barack ObamaFlorida (18,909)

Ohio (15,227)

Pennsylvania (11,024)

Georgia (1,468)

Missouri (3,816)

Colorado (5,108)

Source: The Nielsen Company (October 6, 2008 – October 26, 2008).
*Note: Television advertising activity reported includes preliminary commercial occurrences for local and national broadcast TV and syndicated TV. Local cable TV advertising activity is not included.

As of October 26, both candidates continue to focus their advertising on Florida (24,611 combined ad units), Ohio (21,027 combined ad units), and Pennsylvania (16,390 combined ad units).

Meanwhile, Georgia is receiving the least amount of advertising.  McCain has placed no new ads in the state since October 17, while Obama ran just 1,468 ads there during the last three weeks.

Stay tuned on NielsenWire for daily political ad updates from the swing states.

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