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Despite Weekend Ad Boost By McCain, Obama Maintains Overall Swing State Advertising Lead
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Despite Weekend Ad Boost By McCain, Obama Maintains Overall Swing State Advertising Lead

During the final weekend preceding the presidential election, Sen. Barack Obama ran 77% more TV ads than Sen. John McCain (5,947 vs. 3,358) in seven key swing states: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Despite trailing Obama in terms of the total number of TV ad units placed, McCain showed a much larger percentage increase in TV advertising from the previous weekend (Friday October 24 thru Sunday, October 26) to this past weekend (Friday, October 31 thru Sunday, November 2).  

McCain bumped his TV ad units up by 76% overall in the seven battleground states Nielsen tracked, while Obama increased his advertising in those states by just 3% over the previous weekend.

State Obama: Ad Units*

(10/24/08 – 10/26/08)

Obama:

Ad Units* (10/31/08 – 11/2/08)

% Growth:

Obama Ad Units*

(10/24 – 10/26 

Vs.

10/31 – 11/2)

McCain:

Ad Units* (10/24/08 – 10/26/08)

McCain:

Ad Units* (10/31/08 – 11/2/08)

% Growth:

McCain Ad Units*

(10/24 – 10/26 

Vs.

10/31 – 11/2)

Colorado 538 616 14% 92 149 62% 
Florida 1,990 1,870 -6% 635 947 49% 
Georgia 38 127 234%  0 31 n/a 
Missouri 419 367 -12% 123 193 57% 
Ohio 1,203 1,235 2.7% 442 826 87% 
Pennsylvania 926 1,020 10% 371 830 124% 
Virginia 659 712 8% 235 382 62% 
Source: The Nielsen Company (October 24 – 26, 2008 and October 30 – November 2, 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.

Between October 6 and November 2, Obama placed 135% more ad units (80,504 vs. 34,179) than McCain in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

To date, both McCain and Obama have advertised most heavily in Florida.  Obama ran 24,834 ads in the state between October 6 and November 2, outpacing McCain’s 8,599 ads by almost 189%.

Nielsen’s ad unit data shows preliminary commercial occurrences and may fluctuate from day to day, as data is updated.

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