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. Becky in Indiana

    Indiana is for OBAMA!!!

    July 16, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  2. Michigan for Obama

    What is even more surprising is MONTANA or NORTH DAKOTA! Talk about Iowa being a white state, MONTANA??? Montana is on its way to turning solidly blue...along with virginia...north dakota is close, indiana is close, and many others are close....but obama is pulling away in some of the others such as colorado or new mexico....change is on the way!!

    July 16, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. Oregon calling

    Sweet, he has my vote and it's about time that the WHOLE country was paid attention to.

    Obama / 08

    July 16, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  4. Raymond Duke

    Obama is trying to get Alaska. That is a waste of 60,000.Not going to happen. Georgia , it is a good try because of the large amount of blacks there who will vote for Obama because he is a black, but I don't see the whites in georgia going for him they are to patiotic. Florida , he will get some votes there but will lose it. Wexler , the jewish congressman from there may try to influence the Jewish population but I don't see them voting for a guy that goes against everything they stand for and that middle name "HUSSIEN" is not helping.Montana forget it. He might have won with a few rich liberals out there but that is a red state and will stay red.Of all these states Virginia may be the closest to call.Obama better concentrate on the blue states he is going to need them all.

    July 16, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  5. Raymond Duke

    Dream on Obama supporters. John McCain is running neck to neck with him in all the polls and the republicans aren't even coming out of the wood work yet. Nobody in their right mind is going to vote for an anti-american socialist with terriost friends, member of a black radical church and a wife that is so nasty with her attitude most people wouldn't hire her to be a waitress.It must have been affirmative action that got her job for her.

    July 16, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  6. M Johnson

    I want to show my black friend that Virginia is not hopeless.

    July 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  7. Astrid

    MCCAIN / ROMNEY IN '08 :)

    OBAMA IS TOAST....WHAT A RIDICULOUS CANDIDATE!!!!!!!!!

    July 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  8. Josh, NY

    CNN-all Obama, all the time.

    If you like Obama, you shouldn't want him to get elected. He's going to be severely punished when he can't turn the economy around and watches the U.S. sink into depression.

    His supporters will call for his impeachment.

    July 16, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  9. 34 YEAR OLD WHITE GIRL FOR OBAMA

    I LOVE YOU MR. OBAMA. YOU'VE INSPIRED HOPE AND CHANGE THAT I BELIEVE IN!!!!!!!

    OBAMA 2008/2012

    July 16, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  10. 34 YEAR OLD WHITE GIRL FOR OBAMA

    YES WE CAN!!!!!

    OBAMA 2008/2012

    July 16, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  11. 34 YEAR OLD WHITE GIRL FOR OBAMA

    CHANGE I BELIEVE IN.

    OBAMA 2008/2012

    July 16, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  12. JIM...TX

    So..McSame out spent Obabma by $4 million as far as the general goes. Sure doesn't have much to show for it now does he. At least when Obama was out spending HRC he whopped her butt:)

    July 16, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. Paul

    To "obama is unfit to be president of this country" – if your insightful commentary about "white Georgia" is a widespread one, this suggests an alternative thesis: the United States is unfit to be part of the global community"

    July 16, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. 34 YEAR OLD WHITE GIRL FOR OBAMA

    MCCAIN GO AWAY-YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL PILLS AND THEIR IMPORTANCE.

    SMART HOTTIES VOTE OBAMA!!!!

    2008/2012

    July 16, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  15. Ron, NOLA

    He is actually attempting win over some states that are traditionally republican. It's obvious he is looking out for the entire well being of the country, not just the traditional blue states. And to "obama is unfit to be president of this country", you just proved how backwards you are.

    July 16, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  16. aaa

    go obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! red states leave the MCFLIP MCBUSH MCSHAME

    July 16, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  17. Barbara,tx

    Obama is everybody's best chance for Change...McCain will continue George Bush policies..I just hope the American people DON'T JUST SEE COLOR.

    July 16, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  18. The Truth hurts

    It seems the conservatives are verrrrrrrrrrrry scared. If they loose any of the south, thats a clear sign they will be in for a long night

    July 16, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  19. Debby, NJ

    UNITED WE STAND
    BARACK THE VOTE AMERICA !!!

    July 16, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  20. Clinton/McCain

    Obviously I don't want him to win, but my advice would be to focus on the battleground states like FL, PA, OH and even NJ because it will be a tight race. Spending more in the red states than what previous candidates have done further indicates his lack of good judgement.

    July 16, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  21. FactCheck

    > Oh, sorry, we want CHANGE not EXPERIENCE!.

    Why would we want experience when she couldn't even run her campaign without going into debt, play the dirtiest kind of politics and lie about the most ridiculous of matters. If this is experience, I don't want any of it.

    July 16, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  22. Justin from West Haven, CT

    Obama needs to pick up Virginia and Colorado and make a play for the Midwest.

    July 16, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  23. Sue

    Let's hea it for the Blue states, and the ones that will come over!! Obama 08!

    July 16, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  24. Loving OBama

    America, please understand that we need a change in leadership in America. Why is John McCann more trustworthy than Barack Obama? He is a Republican and as a long-time politician, his thinking in entrenched. We need Barack Obama now, while he is still has fresh ideas. We need him now, before his thinking becomes as entrenched as McCain's. Four more years of Republican rule and we may not have an America. Listen up PUMAs, stop the petty whining. If you want to have a woman in the White House show that we, as women, are mature enough to handle this. Stop acting as though we are all hormone-driven! If you can't trust Obama, what makes you think you can trust McCain?

    July 16, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  25. Gene

    Obama 08 - The intelligent choice.

    July 16, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7