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Campaign Ad Races Heat Up in VA, NJ, and NY Contests
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Campaign Ad Races Heat Up in VA, NJ, and NY Contests

Election Day is closing in, and the campaign ad races are in full throttle. Here’s an update on the ad buys by each candidate in three contentious races in Virginia, New Jersey and New York:

VIRGINIA: The ad race between Virginia gubernatorial candidates continues to be as tight as it was reported two weeks ago. Since September 21st Robert McDonnell(R) has out-placed Creigh Deeds (D) 6215 to 5718.

A breakdown of the Designated Market Areas (DMAs) within Virginia lends a better view of where the candidates are targeting their messages. McDonnell is dominating the airwaves in the Richmond and Norfolk markets, where his campaign has placed about 40% more ads than Deeds’s campaign since September 21st.  But Deeds, the Democratic candidate, is more of a presence on TVs in the rural Western part of the state, where he’s bought 16% more ads than the McDonnell campaign in the Roanoke-Lynchburg market and 19% more in the Tri-Cities market in the last month. In the Washington DC market, the two candidates are virtually tied, with each of the campaigns placing roughly 1700 ads from 9/21 to 10/19.

TIME PERIOD DEEDS (D) MCDONNELL (R)
9/21 to 9/30/09 1987 1981
10/1 to 10/19/09 3791 4234
TOTAL 5778 6215
Source: The Nielsen Company

Note: Data based on Spot TV ads bought in the Washington, Norfolk,

Richmond, Roanoke-Lynchburg and Tri-Cities DMAs

NEW JERSEY: In Nielsen’s last analysis of the governor’s race two weeks ago, incumbent Democrat John Corzine showed a big lead in ad buys over Republican challenger Chris Christie. And that lead hasn’t waivered, with Corzine’s campaign placing almost 2 1/2 times as many ads on New Jersey TVs as Christie’s, since September 21st through October 19th (4131 to 1786).

But ads placed by the campaigns alone do not tell the entire story in New Jersey.  The Republican Governors’ Association has chipped in with its own advertising on behalf of Christie. The RGA placed over 900 ads over the last month to help close the gap.

TIME PERIOD CORZINE (D) CHRISTIE (R)
9/21 to 9/30/09 1508 540
10/1 to 10/19/09 2623 1246
TOTAL 4131 1786
Source: The Nielsen Company

Note: Data based on Spot TV ads bought in the New York City and Philadelphia DMAs

NEW YORK CITY: Incumbent Mike Bloomberg continues to dominate New York airwaves over his opponent Bill Thompson (D). Bloomberg’s 2,875 TV ads placed since September 21st, almost 1,300 more than the amount placed by Thompson over the same period.

TIME PERIOD BLOOMBERG (I) THOMPSON (D)
9/21 to 9/30/09 874 161
10/1 to 10/19/09 2001 1432
TOTAL 2875 1593
Source: The Nielsen Company

Note: Data based on Spot TV ads bought in the New York City DMA