July 16th, 2008
06:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama, indeed, is making a red state play

Obama is making a run at several states Bush won in 2004.
Obama is making a run at several states Bush won in 2004.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Critics sneered when Barack Obama vowed to challenge John McCain in states that traditionally have been Republican strongholds. But a review of early television advertising spending shows that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is making robust buys in a handful of “red states.”

So far, Obama has spent $60,000 in Alaska; $3.5 million in Florida; $1.3 million in Georgia; $1 million in Indiana; $100,000 in Montana; $1 million in North Carolina; and $1.8 million in Virginia, according to a new analysis by TNS/Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN’s political television advertising consultant.

“Obama’s targeting of these red states is unprecedented,” said Evan Tracey, chief operating officer of CMAG. “He is clearly looking to expand the playing field.”

In all, McCain has outspent Obama - $23 million to $19 million – on political television advertising when you look at these figures through the lens of the general election. To be fair, McCain has had a head start – CMAG’s point of reference for McCain’s general election buys is mid-May and the Republican National Committee accounts for $3 million of the McCain total.

So what other states are the candidates targeting? The traditional battlegrounds where Democrats and Republicans take their political war every four years: Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Missouri.

Michigan: McCain, $2.6 million to Obama’s $1.6 million; Ohio: McCain, $3.2 million to Obama’s $1.7 million; Pennsylvania: McCain, $4.2 million to Obama’s $2.7 million. Additionally, McCain has dropped $1.5 million into Missouri and another $1.9 million on national cable.

Obama is expected to have a greater financial advantage over McCain in the closing months after the presumptive Democratic nominee announced he would forgo public financing. If Obama’s red state ad spending is successful over the summer this could enhance his standing heading into the post convention period when McCain will be limited to $85 million. Conversely, if McCain is able to successfully beat back Obama’s efforts in red states over the next two months, the advantage Obama has in purchasing airtime will be diminished. A smaller battleground is to McCain’s advantage.

And as for the unregulated 527’s and other third party groups – they are now just starting to show their teeth.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Dawn, MS

    Divide and conquer has worked for years. Barack changed the playing field. No longer is Super Tuesday super, no longer are red states red. We are taking the country back, state by state.
    As Rick Warren says " it's not the left wing or the right wing, it's the whole bird".

    What next, America? The sky just may not be the limit.

    Obama 08

    July 16, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. Nando, Florida

    ITS FUNNY HOW BARAK HAS SAD WE NEEDED TO TALK TO OUR ENEMIES AND ALSO THAT WE NEED MORE TROOPS IN AFGAN???

    OHH SNAP THAT JUST WHAT GEORGE BUSH IS DOING !!!!!!!!!!

    OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    AMERICA WAKE UP AND SEE THE POTUS THAT BARAK CAN AND WILL BE !!!!!!!!!

    A SMART ONE WITH SOUND JUDGEMENT AND CAN SPELL AND PRONOUNCE WORDS CORRECTLY LIKE NUCLEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 16, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. Scott L

    It is so funny watching the Dems glorify their holy hero Barack. I will not feel sorry for you when you lose in Nov. BTW, we Virginians won't give it up. Maybe Northern VA is Blue, but the rest of the state is red red red. He doesn't stand a chance. Anti-Gun, anti-coal, anti-religion.

    July 16, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. ran

    We the people need to have the electoral college done away with then all states and their people will have a say; thereby, making all states red/white/blue.

    July 16, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  5. Marlie I

    Obomacans: Take your country back! Make it the best in the world again.

    July 16, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  6. aaa

    money doesnt buy votes mcflip

    July 16, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. Martha Hussein Baker for Barack

    McCain can spend all the money the GOP and his heiress wife has and he still won't get elected.

    We need SMART not SENILE...

    July 16, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. Peter (CA)

    Good for you Obama. You will probably need to get either Virginia, North Carolina, or Georgia if the Republicans steal Ohio again.

    I see a lot of posts on these blogs saying the Obama supporters are rude and discourteous. Then I see "obama is unfit's" post saying "you will not get white Georgia". Now who is being rude?

    July 16, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. TheTruthHurts

    Obama and McCain are not perfect. Both misspeak and have bad days.

    However, McCain is having a real problem being consistent and telling the truth. It's not each individual instance, it's the collective whole that is problematic – particularly given the apparent concern regarding his age.

    I would ask all voters to think about what does the president actually do. After the voting is done and the moving trucks are no longer in front of the White House, what does s/he DO?

    Who is going to be best able to do that in the best interests of the American people given the context of Americas challenges and resources.

    I've made my choice, but these boards seemed filled with garbage posts that have nothing to do with what we are asking our president to do.

    July 16, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. TheTruthHurts

    Rudy will forever be considered a fool for dissing the American people. Obama is no fool and wants EVERY vote almost to the point of absurdity.

    I frankly would let go of the PUMA voter, the racist, the muslim haters and the other bigots. I don't know how many votes that is, but I just will have to put my faith in the hands of rational Americans with decency.

    He wants to lead the whole country and I respect him for that. I believe McCain does too, but he's saddled with the conservative right and that albatross will be his undoing.

    July 16, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  11. Wisconsin

    Lots of Obama voters in "red" states.

    July 16, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  12. FRED ATLANTA,GA

    HEY California voter all that EXPERIENCE has gotten this country ABSOLUTELY NO WHERE!!! SO YES IT"S TIME FOR CHANGE!!! All those so called qualified people has done what??? PLEASE HUMOR ME.

    July 16, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  13. Ted

    Alright! When the US turns blue, the world will cheer.
    Obama/Edwards '08!

    July 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. Dems

    Cotton Candy candidate. Fraud.

    July 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  15. Sharon

    I guess he is trying to buy the election. It didn't work in PA. Ohio, TX (sort of ) WV, Kentucky, SD, NH, California, NY. Indiana, PR etc. It might not work this time. McCain make him spend it all.

    July 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    i see on CNN's home page that the repugs are sending someone to "listen, but not negotiate" with iran.

    these bumbling clowns would be a bleeping joke if they werent so dangerous!!! they are like the keystone cops of politics, only instead of hitting each other with ladders they're gonna get us all blown to smithereens!!!!

    July 16, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Dems

    McCain wins 40 states and the Obama-Bots cry "stolen election".

    July 16, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. Marcus B

    TO California Voter:

    Did you miss the part where it said MCCAIN HAS OUTSPENT OBAMA??? How did you come to the conclusion the Obama is buying the election when McCain is spending more? Obama is just spending wisely!

    OBAMA/SEBELIUS!!!!!!

    July 16, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  19. Jon

    This is a new day and the days of red and blue states went out with the last election. After 8 years of Bush raping this country, America has turned color blind. You have the diehard republicans that still think the world will end if Obama becomes President and you can see them on FOX news but then you have the new guard coming out saying "HELL NO I CAN"T TAKE IT NO MORE" young, old, black, white and everything in between. McCain is a nice man if you don't make him mad , ask the wrong question "off to the woodshed for the McCain beat down" People want CHANGE and this year and the color of the states is "OBAMA".

    July 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. Christopher in TN

    Here in Tennessee we can only encourage family and friends in other states to vote democratic. And send money! I hope it is closer here than polls indicate. GOP must GO!

    July 16, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  21. Matt

    Virginia will be blue. Mark Warner a very popular busines savy dem has raised 5 million dollars to former republican governore Jim Gilmore's $150,000. Jim webb is one of the most like senators in the country and especially Virginia and he's a dem. Tim Kaine the governor is a Dem. People are starting to wake up and realize the new wave of busines savy, hard working, open minded democrats of today are the future! Go Obama!!! Virginia is yours!

    July 16, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  22. BJGT

    Purple pride!

    July 16, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    GOOD! Sen. Obama said that we are THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA........ we need to unite, folks, because Bush is leaving U.S. a mess!

    I am trusting that America will see past the color of the skin, and see what this brilliant man has to offer us!

    Please people THINK! WE CAN'T AFFORD ANOTHER REPUBLICAN. BUSH IS LEAVING US STRAPPED WITH $10 TRILLION IN NATIONAL DEBT! IF WE THINK THE ECONOMY IS BAD NOW........ IT WILL GET WORSE! WE NEED TO SHOUT.......ENOUGH!

    July 16, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  24. Willy

    Loserman 08

    July 16, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  25. JOHN

    JOHN MCCAIN ON OBAMA, HE'S AN IMPRESSIVE FELLOW IN MANY WAYS. THIS IS THE BEST THING THE OLD FART HAS SAID YET.

    July 16, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
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