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. Brain

    I have to start what I started. Anybody who smell WARS should be not be a president during my lifetime!

    Go Obama., Time to give peace a chance!

    July 16, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  2. Brandon Hillary PUMA 4 Mc

    Get him John tear him to shreads........

    July 16, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  3. sarah T

    no more mc copy cat bush

    July 16, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  4. Penn State Student for Obama

    Barack i have been one of your strongest supporters. However as a Very Conservative Catholic i want to vote for you, but i don't know if i can support a person who isn't pro life. I also don't know if i could support such a liberal candidate as you. I don't know what to do, I might end up voting for McCain instead of you. Oh Barack why couldn't you be somewhat more moderate. If I do decide not to vote for you it will be because of your stance on ABORTION.

    July 16, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  5. Kenny

    Obama helped me when this country was hurting but asking me to hope again. I will reward him for that. I needed it and I wanna feel hope when I see him in the white house.
    Positive attitude can achieve great things.
    George Bush wasted alot of my time with the wars and would not like to see anybody else who talk of it anymore...................

    July 16, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  6. New Yorker

    Justin Hussein -NC, That's just what he will give us if he get's elected.

    McCain 2008!!!!!

    aware, The answer to you question. Let's hope not but time will tell.

    July 16, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  7. Tim

    America a country shining on a hill. It would be great with Obama talking to American people..................

    July 16, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  8. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    BARACKERS

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK......................YES YOU CAN
    .......................YES HE CAN ..................YES WE CAN!

    WHILE REPUBLICANS SIT BACK ON THEIR FANNIES AND EXPECT THAT THEY ARE SOMEHOW ENTITLED TO THESE RED STATES, BARACK WILL BE MAKING HIS CASE FOR WHY McCAIN IS NOT!

    July 16, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  9. go away mongers- Ventura ca

    This IS a 50-State strategy in ACTION. This election will surprise many- including the pumA's who have the most jagged view of politics I've seen in many years.(I don't think I've ever even heard of such selfish-spitefull people!) This true Democrat is ready for the CHANGE and Obama will win in November.

    July 16, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  10. A NATION OF WHINERS FOR OBAMA

    IT MIGHT TAKE US AMERICANS A WHILE TO GET IT.

    BUT WATCH OUT WHEN WE DO. OTHER NATIONS

    SAY "WATCH OUT WHEN THE SLEEPING GIANT WAKES UP".

    WE ARE THE GIANT. WE HAVE BEEN ASLEEP,

    AND WE ARE FULLY AWAKE.

    AND WE WILL ELECT A PRESIDENT TO LEAD US TO A

    PROSPEROUS FUTURE NOT THE SAME MISERABLE PAST.

    July 16, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  11. Rave

    Virginia for Obama and America for Obama...
    There is no other way to this riddle... If not Obama, we will be in deep S
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    July 16, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  12. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    Would someone please tell me.

    WHY IS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION NOW DECIDING THAT IT IS OKAY TO TALK TO THE IRANIANS?

    WHY IS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION NOW SAYING THAT IT IS TIME TO PULL OUT THE TROOPS FROM IRAQ?

    WHY IS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STEALING BARACK OBAMA'S BELIEFS?

    PLEASE FOLKS AND MEDIA ALIKE, I NEED AN ANSWER HERE, BECAUSE I AM TOTALLY CONFUSED!

    July 16, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  13. a southern bell for OBAMA

    ONLY VERY IGNORANT FOLKS THINK WE WOULDN'T

    VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT OR AN AFRICAN AMERICAN.

    WE ARE GOING TO VOTE FOR OUR OBAMA MAN AND

    HE IS GOING TO LEAD US TO A DELICIOUS FUTURE.

    THAT OLD MAN COULD NOT LEAD A THIRD WORLD

    NATION LET ALONE THE MOST POWERFUL NATION ON

    GOD'S GREEN EARTH. AND WE NEED TO KEEP IT GREEN.

    July 16, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  14. Rick in Az

    As a Independent here in Arizona.. I find it so funny seeing all the people supporting McSame.. It seems most prople are NOT voting for McCan't but rather against Obama.. Maybe some of the McBush supporters should come here to Arizona so you can get a first hand experience of just how qualified McDoubleTalk is.. Imagine 110 degree weather and knowing you have to run your car AC at over 4 dollars a gallon.. And, not to even mention that he has flip flopped so bad that he's now trailing Obama here in Az... Seems even the people of Arizona know something that the rest of the GOP doesn't.

    July 16, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  15. Ms. White

    These so called "red states" that are stead fast on voting for McCain are die hard Repulicans, voted for Bush twice due to "fear" brainwashing and most for all must not be pulling "lint and pennies" from thier pockets!!!!!
    Go OBAMA 08-12
    Blacks and Whites love you in Maryland ( a Southern State)

    July 16, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  16. Nina DePonca

    Tony WROTE ON ....July 16th, 2008 8:33 pm ET

    What's next, America? How about some actual plans rather than rhetoric. I've said this before…I like Obama's message, but until he starts REALLY articulating how he's going to achieve these things, he's simply a very charismatic person telling people what they want to hear.

    – – – – – – – – - – – – – – – –

    Tony – I'd like to know what you thought of Obama's presentation of his plan on Tuesday ... the 5 -point plan.

    It had the Who, What, When, How, and How Much in it. He was more thorough and comprehensive than I've ever heard McCain be. At the same time, he avoided the typical Democratic droning on that was the death knell for Kerry and, to some extent, Gore.

    McCain has never been as clear as Obama was on 7/15/08.

    July 16, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  17. Mike Florida

    Good he needs to I'm surrounded by old people and rednecks. The more reasonable people he can attract in Florida the better.

    Obama 08

    July 16, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  18. ANGIE

    Well i can tell you i live in the swing state pa and obama is favored very highly here lots of people i know not happy with mccain some of them are even republicans that are jumping on the obama wagon go obama turn the whole map blue!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 16, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  19. ANGIE

    I cant understand for the life of me why louisiana would want to vote for mccain cant they see how the republicans felt for them or did for them after KATRINA geore bush did nothing for them what are they thinking!!

    July 16, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  20. Stop Whinning People

    We have register alot of people in South Carolina, and we won't stop until South Carolina turns BLUE we are fired up and ready to go, do Mccain feel lonely since he said it would be crazy to talk to our enemies and now Bush is trying to do just that.

    July 16, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  21. Texas Trail Dog

    THANK GOSH HE HAS LEFT TEAS ALONE. WE DON'T WANT TO LOOK AT HIS UGLY FACE ANY MORE.

    July 16, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  22. HOPE-N-CHANGE

    NOW I KNOW WHAT OBAMA MEANT WHEN HE PROMISED US “HOPE AND CHANGE”:

    "I HOPE nobody notices how often I CHANGE my mind."

    The truth appears to be that the man had not thought out foreign policy issues before he entered the race for president.

    I would like to see him confront face to face and without a teleprompter a tough questioner on foreign policy and domestic policy for that matter.

    If we were electing a teleprompter reader he would get my vote - But the country needs a man of experience - the more, the better. He is not the one. He is inexperienced on ‘most’ issues.

    I’m voting for McCain in November.

    July 16, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  23. Texas Trail Dog

    I HEAR TELL JASPER TEXAS WANTS HIM TO COME THERE TO GIVE A SPEECH IF HE'S UP FOR IT.

    July 16, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  24. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    Georgia for Obama!.......we are going to turn this state from RED to BLACK and BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    the Obama movement is coming..........give way McCripple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    President Barack Obama – '08/12'

    July 16, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  25. ANYBODY BUT OBAMA

    go away mongers- Ventura ca July 16th, 2008 10:52 pm ET

    This IS a 50-State strategy in ACTION. This election will surprise many- including the pumA's who have the most jagged view of politics I've seen in many years.(I don't think I've ever even heard of such selfish-spitefull people!) This true Democrat is ready for the CHANGE and Obama will win in November.
    ----------------------

    GO AWAY MONGERS: DON'T FORGET - YOUR MEDIA 'GOLDEN BOY' HAS VISITED 57 STATES! HE IS A JOKE. THE ONLY THING HE CHANGES IS HIS MIND.

    VOTE McCAIN IN NOVEMBER.

    July 16, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
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