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Obama and McCain’s Ads Equally Negative
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Obama and McCain’s Ads Equally Negative

Despite finger-pointing from both sides, Barack Obama and John McCain’s presidential campaigns have run almost the same number of negative local campaign ads, Nielsen Monitor-Plus reported Thursday.

From June 3, when the primaries ended, through Sept. 7, the most recent reporting period, the McCain campaign ran 76,192 negative ads against Obama.  During the same time period, the Obama campaign placed 75,246 negative commercials against McCain.

Negative advertising by both candidates and the “527” groups that support them has concentrated in the top battleground states, led by Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Rank

(By # Of Ads)

State # Of McCain Negative Ads

Placed By Obama & 527s

1 Ohio 11,037
2 Michigan 10,397
3 Wisconsin 8,974
4 Pennsylvania 8,569
5 Colorado 4,332
6 Florida 4,112
7 Missouri 3,899
8 Nevada 3,741
9 Virginia 3,260
10 Iowa 3,170
Source: The Nielsen Company (June 3, 2008 – September 7, 2008).

Rank

(By # Of Ads)

State # Of Obama Negative Ads

Placed By McCain & 527s

1 Ohio 14,397
2 Michigan 12,292
3 Pennsylvania 11,363
4 Wisconsin 10,005
5 Iowa 7,172
6 Colorado 6,016
7 Nevada 4,766
8 Missouri 4,305
9 New Mexico 2,106
10 West Virginia 1,970
Source: The Nielsen Company (June 3, 2008 – September 7, 2008).

The three commercials used most frequently by each candidate’s campaigns aired more than 10,000 times each.

Top 3 McCain Ads Against Obama # Of Commercials Placed On Local TV
Negative – Obama/ Spending/Budget/ Taxes/ Men 16,354
Negative – Obama/ Higher Taxes/ Foreign Oil 16,215
Negative – Obama/ Gas / Domestic Drilling 10,760
Source: The Nielsen Company (June 3, 2008 – September 7, 2008).

Top 3 Obama Ads Against McCain # Of Commercials Placed On Local TV
Negative – McCain/ Iraq War/ Oil/ Economy 11,140
Negative – McCain/ Housing/ Economy 10,187
Negative – McCain/ Economy/ Taxes/ Iraq War 10,074
Source: The Nielsen Company (June 3, 2008 – September 7, 2008).

View each candidate’s top negative ad below.

Read coverage of Nielsen’s findings in Newsweek, AdAge, the Chicago Tribune’s “The Swamp” political blog, The Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times.

McCain Ad: Expensive Plans

Obama Ad: Book