October 2nd, 2008
01:54 PM ET
10 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. She thinks the Bush Doctrine is an OBGYN

    A 21 st century President in America! We will go from the most hated Country with the most hated president to the ENVY of the entire world in one election!!!!

    Love Obama – Biden!

    October 2, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. faye, NV

    McCain has ruin his use to be ideals when she selected Sara, who is out of her league. For him to think picking a lady would somehow make him electable is crazy.

    The "show me state", realize like most of us McCain time has ended.

    I am Faye and I approve this message.

    October 2, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Gail, NC

    Thanks Katie,

    She revived her career and tore Sarah to shreds by just asking her everyday VP questions. McCain kept Sarah away from the press for three whole weeks before her first interview. What the heck was she studying (different angles she could see Alaska from her house)?

    So when she finally gave an interview, she's Miss Ping Pong, taking our minds all over the political map. I looked at my husband and he just laughed and kept saying "What did she just say?" I told him who knows, McCain is a fool.

    So once again, thanks Katie, you're a true American. You did what Charlie and Sean couldn't do. Poor Sarah, she couldn't disarm you, like she disarmed those guys.

    October 2, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. Frank,MO

    I live in Kansas City and volunteer for the first time ever for a political movement ! Our family went door-to-door one Sunday and we will phone-bank next week.

    It's great to see MO in the toss-up category. We will work even harder to turn MO blue !!!

    October 2, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. Tired Elephant

    You go, Tucker and thanks Greg, NY for the Michigan news. Is McCain running low on cash?

    October 2, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. wow!!!

    ladies and gentlemen, the republican pres. and vice. team:


    sorry, Disney characters, didn't mean to insult you

    October 2, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Paul DObro

    McCain 08
    Palin 09

    It's the end of the world as we know it.

    October 2, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. Dadedi

    I have read the story above about McCain with sadness. I hope that Americans can sober up and realize what they are about to do will impact not just themselves but their children too. I would like a war hero to occupy the white house some day but not just now. There is more at stake in this election. I am not gambling with my vote and no! I do not believe in creation. If creation were true, there would be more than 2000 creation possibilities because each and every small community and tribe in the world has one. It is just that the Jewish one happened to be adopted by Northen Europeans when they embraced Christianity.

    October 2, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Go Home Sarah

    America will breathe a collective sigh, when Sarah Ping Pong Palin is back on the plane for Alaska, for good.

    The country will be better off, and so will her baby.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 2, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. sandee in Portland

    McCain the spoiled brat...thank you for reminding me of this story. I had read it several years ago but had forgotten. We need to be reminded of who the true heros of our country are and it certainly isn't John McCain. Being a POW does not a war hero make not does it make you experienced to be President.

    I am voting for the most intelligent, calm, rational candidate, the one who takes the time to think before he makes a decision rather than just blurting out a statement before putting brain in gear. There is absolutely nothing the McCain camp could pull out of their hat at this time to make me change my mind.

    October 2, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. McCain is Throwing in the Towel

    John McCain is Old and Tired. He can't keep up this pace much longer before it takes a toll on him. If he doesn't slow down he may not even be around on election day. Face it John, it time to throw in the towel. Time for Sarah and Todd to pack up the kids and head back to Alaska. Game over. You lose.

    October 2, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. milo

    "Obama has won the state, so why spend the dough?"

    He's getting closer but "won the state" isn't really true at all at this point.

    October 2, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. Mickie in PA

    I want whatever Tucker Bounds is smoking! McCain change in government (no regulations against big business – which I'm sure goes along with Cindy's policies) is what got us into this financial mess in the first place. Of course with his 5 Trust Funds that Cindy set up for him, McCain thought the fundamentals of the economy were sound - well at least his and Cindy's were. And who needs equal pay for women when you're wife is already a megamillionare. Who needs a woman's right to choose when you left your 3 kids you already had with your first crippled wife. Go retire to one of your 8 palaces McCain.

    October 2, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. Female Voter

    And McCain is pulling out of Michigan.

    October 2, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. Midge from Ohio

    Why do I keep seeing banner ads on CNN for "Obama is in Grand Rapids Mi, Obama is in Lansing, Mi." What about "McCain is in Colorado"? Why is the news filled with OBAMA I am SOOO sick of seeing his face on everything I log into. CNN is SO biased it is sickening!

    October 2, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. mitch

    mo. is obama country, just like everywhere else, except tennesse and texas.

    October 2, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. Nicole

    are you all serious?? you really need to wake up and look around. Obama preaches change but guess what... the mess we are in is partially HIS FAULT!!!! hello!!! ACORN!??!? ever heard of it? Probably not. You all just sit here and call McCain old and a liar... you all really need to take a LONG HARD look at Obama and stop listening to his rants... i love how much you all forgive him too... how quickly you forget!

    October 2, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. aware..........BUT SMARTER

    just like the mcc campaign......not enough words, no issues, insults and sleaze tactics......won't work

    October 2, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |


    October 2, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. voter

    strange that CNN is not reporting that McCain is pulling out of Michagan. I guess McCain is going to put more resourses in states that are typically republican but Obama is making a play for like VA, FL and OH. Lets not be complacent and work hard to bring home for Obama.

    October 2, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. Soccer mom from Manhattan

    Well maybe that means that they still expect McCain to win Missouri even though from what I've heard Obama has the lead. I mean if a Republican is still having to spend money and campaign in Missouri in October, it's over and he knows it.

    October 2, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. pam Eugene OR

    McCain will never understand the is quality and not quantity. No matter how much McCain spend people are sick and tired of his slash and burn ads.
    He has nothing good or informative to say and we don't want to hear the rest. Get on message John.

    October 2, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. Emma

    I think McCain is conceding the state of Missouri to Senator Obama. Why else would he reduce his advertisement spending if he doesn't feel that he can still win the state?

    October 2, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |

    Lets hope McCain keeps up this negative campaign.His numbers just keep going down.I never thought I'd say this but thanks Carl Rove for the advice the McCain camp used.

    October 2, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |

    And thank God is does not contain the stench of moose stew!

    October 2, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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