October 2nd, 2008
01:54 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama, McCain cutting commercials in Missouri

Both campaigns have decreased spending on commercials in Missouri.
Both campaigns have decreased spending on commercials in Missouri.

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (CNN) – As the battle for the swing state of Missouri heat up, both presidential campaigns seem to be retreating from the airwaves here.

Over the past few weeks, Barack Obama and John McCain both decreased spending on campaign commercials in Missouri, site of tonight’s vice presidential debate – a confusing move, given the crucial 11 electoral votes on the line in this bellwether state.

Twenty-four hours ago, recent polling and other factors prompted the CNN Political Team to officially change the state’s status on the CNN Electoral Map from “lean McCain” to “tossup.”

But the good news for Obama comes as his campaign has decreased its ad spending in the “Show Me State” by about $24,000 from the third week in September to the fourth week, according to an analysis for CNN of campaign commercials in Missouri by TNSMI-Campaign Media Analysis Group. There is an even more dramatic cut apparent from the second week of September to the month’s final seven days: over that period, the campaign’s ad spending in the state dropped from $456,000 to $332,000.

For his part, McCain’s high-level mark for ad spending in Missouri in September came during the second week, when he spent more than $286,000. But the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign cut spending to just a hair over $96,000 in the month’s final week. While McCain was off the air for two days that week after announcing he would be suspending his campaign, his spending on ads has been on an overall downward trajectory here – a point his campaign spokesman acknowledges.

“There is no question Barack Obama has greater resources in this campaign, but John McCain’s record of making change and reforming government will be able to break through in states like Missouri,” said Tucker Bounds, McCain’s spokesman. “There is a threshold of support for John McCain in the state of Missouri that will hold, and strategically speaking we are allocating our resources throughout the country wherever they are most effective.”


A spokesman for Obama refused to discuss the campaign’s ad spending strategy.

So why has the needle moved in Obama’s direction in Missouri at the same time he has decreased his ad spending? The campaign may not be talking, but a few likely factors jump out.

First, McCain’s reduction in ad spending has given Obama the room to cut his own buy, said Evan Tracey, CMAG’s chief operating officer and CNN’s political advertising consultant. Second, CNN Polling Director Keating Holland suggests that McCain is suffering politically from the financial crisis and by being tied to President Bush. Specifically, in the agricultural state of Missouri, farmers operate on credit, which has been frozen - and recent retirees, who have yet to move their money out of the stock market, might be laying blame for the current crisis on the president’s party.

Still, Obama’s ad spending in Missouri appears to run counter to his overall ad strategy.

“The state of Missouri is going against his national trends where we have seen steady rises across the board in battleground states,” Tracey says. “In Missouri, it has been sort of flat.”

Given the recent movement in the polls that seems to signal the state is within reach, perhaps Obama will reverse course and pour more money in the closing weeks into the “Show Me State.”


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

    Tucker Bounds is the most puerile, odious fool imaginable. While McCain's pick of Palin says the most about his poor judgment, his use of Bounds indicates a fair amount as well.

    October 2, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Steve

    McCain is a candidate "for change"? Hmmmm....I wonder where he got that idea? McCain is cutting his spending because someone on his team has finally told him that each time one of his brittle and shrill ads runs, he loses votes. Pelple are tired of hearing his complaining. He has based his entire campaign on telling us the horrible things Obama represents, and showing outrate when he's asked to explain himself. Mr. McCain needs to realize he's not running for King. He's running to be a representative of the American people. He cannot get angry and shout "Off with their heads!" The days of imperial Republicanism are coming quickly to an end.

    October 2, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. Doug R.

    McCain drew a crowd of about 100 in Illinois a month or so ago. He doesn't stand a chance of winning that state. That's Obama's home state.

    October 2, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. Margaret, IN

    Now I know why Republicans didn’t like McCain—he’s a jerk. The one good thing about presidential elections is you’re able to see your candidate up close and personal. I can’t tell you how much of McCain I see and I don’t like. He comes off as a snotty-nosed no-it-all, who will say and do anything to win. This morning he was on Fox Noise, and they told him he would have to start attacking Barack Obama. Before they could finish the sentence, guess what, McCain starts attacking Barack Obama. What a Neanderthal.

    Thank God America is seeing McCain for what he really is– someone who would give the keys to the country to a 12-year old. He thinks we’re idiots, and he’ll be back in Congress before you can say “In what way, Charlieeeeeeeeeeeeee?”

    Don’t give in to dictators of any kind America. Fight crazy kooks, and take our country back.

    October 2, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Eric

    I guess McCain received a phone call from Hillary, advising him not to spend too much. Never wise to end up broke and a loser.

    October 2, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. GINA, OHIO

    MCCAIN/PALIN "TICKET TO NO WHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    OBAMA IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!MAN FOR THE JOB!

    October 2, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. Will Wine Work the Same as a Six Pack

    Question: Will Wine work to get you as drunk as a well a "Six Pack". I think either one will help you UNDERSTAND Sarah Palin's point of view better. Because in order for her comments to make sense "either I have to be drunk or stoned".

    October 2, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. Patrick Henry

    People in MI know can read and write.
    They know who has been holing true to their principles–and who has been casting aside, and rescripting their agenda–to try to woo voters.

    I think the people of Missouri know where to place thier faith–and it won't be with Obama and his 36 yr. tenured Senator touting a false message of change.

    What we need is reform, reconstruction–and that has to be from the top down!

    October 2, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. Margaret

    Now I know why Republicans didn’t like McCain—he’s a jerk. The one good thing about presidential elections is you’re able to see your candidate up close and personal. I can’t tell you how much of McCain I see and I don’t like. He comes off as a snotty-nosed know-it-all, who will say and do anything to win. This morning he was on Fox Noise, and they told him he would have to start attacking Barack Obama. Before they could finish the sentence, guess what, McCain starts attacking Barack Obama. What a Neanderthal.

    Thank God America is seeing McCain for what he really is– someone who would give the keys to the country to a 12-year old. He thinks we’re idiots, and he’ll be back in Congress before you can say “In what way, Charlieeeeeeeeeeeeee?”

    Don’t give in to dictators of any kind America. Fight crazy kooks, and take our country back.

    October 2, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. Brandon, MI

    As a previous poster stated, McCain is FULLY pulling out of MI. This sinking ship is a joy to watch.

    Politico has the story about him pulling out of Michigan.

    October 2, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. mikki h.

    I have been noticing in the political arena that as usual "comedy" slams are going strong especially against Sarah Palin. Try one against Obama and Al Sharpton will be screaming racial slur...

    October 2, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. Jen

    CNN you might want to report by far the biggest news of the day so far which is that McCain is pulling out of Michigan. Ouch McCain..

    October 2, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  13. Victor from MI

    McCain is pulling out of Palin....OOOPS did I say that?

    October 2, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  14. jaye

    I never watch McCain commercials – I find it too hard listening to his voice and hearing his lies.
    He has been the biggest disappointment in the history of elections... not only his misleading lies, but also his VP choice.
    I hope he loses this election.

    October 2, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  15. hmm

    MCCAIN IS PULLING OUT OF MICHIGAN!

    October 2, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  16. Ex-Republican for Obama

    We the people are the best marketing Obama has. BREAK THE GRID LOCK and turn them blue.

    Let's do our part, stand proud and make it known that Obama is with out doubt, the only answer we have in this election. Get the word out...it's time to step up and work for our next President, he is OUR leader and we must get him elected for the good of our country!

    October 2, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  17. ANGIE

    I live in pa can he pull his tv ads out of my state its pretty annoying when your watching tv and one of his LYING ADS ABOUT OBAMA FULL OF LIES COME ON I leave the room and wait for it to end PLEASE MCCAIN PULL OUT OF PA YOU AINT GETTING THIS STATE!

    October 2, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. Rick

    Yes Obama has greater resources – he lied and pulled out of public financing so he can raise unlimited amounts from all those ordinary citizens who otherwise can't afford the mortgage.

    October 2, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  19. Fred

    Maybe it's because McCain is ashamed of his choice for VP
    in case she puts her foot in her lip gloss tonight

    October 2, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  20. Charlotte

    I don't know where some people get these long drawn out stories, they have be hired if you ask me.

    October 2, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. ABG

    I wish Hillary was VP too!

    October 2, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. david

    Man, Tucker Bounds. LMAO

    Where did they get that guy from?

    When McCain losses, everyone should know McCain choose kindergarteners to run his campaign.

    And whatever that femal's name is who is always on TV really hits it out of the park as far as not knowing anything.! She's even worse than Palin

    October 2, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Gaffney in Columbia

    Tucker Bounds could give Baghdad Bob a run for his money in the world of spinning the unspinnable.

    My question to some of McCain's shameless spinners is this: Where do you plan to work when this is all over and you and your candidate are officially shunned by America? Fox News can only hire so many people.

    October 2, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Dutch-VA

    Spending less money and changed the state from leaning McCain to a toss-up. Very WISE. I thought the wisdom would come from McSame.........NOT

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    October 2, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. FOR YOU CNN

    You said it : "No bias no bull" You voted yourself : "CNN the most

    trusted name in news". Your really sound loke a bad ECHO-ECHO

    echo-echo....repeat...repeat......until the story is echoed to death. SO

    we vote you "CNN the most visible and the most unbelievable name

    in news.........GO ahead and print......

    October 2, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
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