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. Newsflash! Putin Invades Alaska's Airspace Between Palin's Ears

    Grampy's going down fast! He had to pull out of Michigan!!!!!!

    October 2, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. Mike,Texas

    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 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Cactus Jack

    Here's the part I don't understand. Who are these people who still support McCain?

    October 2, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Tiff of lithia springs

    If the states gone from McCain leaning to toss-up I guess the momemtum is going to BO. Well alright!!!! Don't sleep on Georgia I voted yesterday for early voting. I saw way more Obama bumper stickers that McCain

    October 2, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. Sarah Palin Fans

    All the Sarah Palin supporters who "REALLY" would trust her with your family's economic future and the future of your children............On November 5th ............Pack up and be on the plane back to Wasillia with her.

    October 2, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. America will be free again

    Can someone ask McCain if he his still taking PUBLIC FUNDS...
    No one seems to remember how he attacked Obama for not taking Public funds...its less than 32 days to the election.

    October 2, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. victim

    i am happy they will see fewer of McCain's LIES...side note, why does the McCain camp keep painting Palin as a victim? she seems to be attacking herself more than anyone else.

    October 2, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Patrick Henry

    One know's he's already one...the other knows he's already lost.

    Who be the one that units the Missouran's under the flag?

    Methinks–Mr. McCain demonstrates a record of service and a vision of a new order–based on conservative logic.

    Gd'night–Mr. Obama.

    October 2, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. Vincent, Great Lakes, Illinois

    McCain, the spoiled brat:

    Thank you for posting that. I remember McCain's antics when he got back from Nam. I also keep a careful watch on how he votes on Veterans benifits. Obama has won hands-over-fists on his voting record for our Veterans.

    Once again, thank you.

    October 2, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. Michigan Voter

    Obama rally this morning in GOP MI. 1,000's of Obama supporters, maybe 20 McFalin counter-supporters.

    Thanks, but no thanks, McFalin.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 2, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. As the 'Paign Turns

    The one good thing you can say about the advertising – it's pumping dollars into the economy... hopefully it helps Missouri and all those states that are considered "excess" now.

    Do the right thing Missouri – vote for life after Bush – Obama/Biden.

    October 2, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. Linda K.

    McCain is running ads in Kentucky, and I sure wish he would pull out of our state. It is interesting, though. Kentucky is supposed to be a shoo-in, but Obama has reduced McCain's lead from 30% to 12%. That's very significant for a place like Kentucky. It's the economy.

    October 2, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. Bruce

    McCain has no IDEAS and HAS NO MONEY all he has is negitive SLAMS that always backfire.

    October 2, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. Mary from Sarasota FL

    Whoever included the op/ed from The Rolling Stones magazine about McCain when he was "young" I want to say thank you !! I copied & pasted it into a doc. so I can email it to my children. Eventually some of the truth has to sink in. this is the opinion of an old Hillary supporter. One of those "bitter old bats" again, thank you, from Mary

    October 2, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. John McLie

    More of the same from John McShame

    John McLame says, “I don’t know much about the economy, I still need to be educated”

    “It would be acceptable if we had to stay in Iraq for another 100 years.”

    We need to “bomb, bomb, and bomb Iran”

    “I have voted with Bush 90% of the time because he has been right 90% of the time”

    Sarah Failin says,

    “I have foreign policy experience because you can see Russia from Alaska and I went to Mexico on vacation once.”

    “I welcome any investigation into my past because I have nothing to hide, oh never mind I will not meet with any investigators for any reason ever.”

    She believes the Bush Doctrine is a “World View” hahaha

    She says she said “No Thanks” for the Bridge to nowhere when she was actually the one who got it approved

    She says we may have to go to war WITH RUSSIA

    She decreased her own responsibilities when she was the mayor of a town small enough to be run by a fifth grader

    You may be able to hide Sarah Palin from the people and the press because she it too incompetent to answer any questions BUT YOU…You CAN”T HIDE FOREVER sooner or later the debates will happen and you will have NO WHERE TO HIDE!!!!

    October 2, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. Jay in MA

    Sorry Obama freaks... the little kids singing looks like something straight out of North Korea.

    Are you going to be calling your messiah "Dear Leader" soon?

    October 2, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. Judy, MI

    Trust me America, I will listen to Sarah, but I won't go too far. If she starts bouncing all over the place, like a ping pong ball, I'm done.

    I've got whiplash as it is from listening to her Katie interviews.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 2, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. Moon Maiden from Lake Michigan

    To Aware,
    You Are So NOT AWARE!
    McCain Is losing
    Obama will be our next PRESIDENT

    October 2, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. Tiff of lithia springs

    Katie unlike Sarah takes her job and any job she's applying for serious!!! Like the rest of us.

    October 2, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. victim

    the truth...IF John McCain spent half of the time and money on telling the American people what he would do to help us instead of attacking Obama may be he would not be sinking in the polls. and if his supporters were not such hateful vicious followers may be more of us would have listen to the McCain lies.

    October 2, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. NoMcSame

    Obama has game and McSame is still LAME. McSame talks about Obama so much that I can't wait to vote for Obama just to piss him off. In November McSame will be able to spend as much time as he wants getting to know the rooms in his many houses. Country first and try to stick us with Failin Palin. McSame has tried to set women back by putting this dunce on front street. I guess that is what he likes because it seems as if he married one. No to McSame.

    October 2, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    I made my weekly contribution to the Obama campaign this morning. Use it wherever it will do the most good, future POTUS Obama!

    October 2, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. Ted:Canada

    I think some of McCains ads are helping Obama – so I am sure Obama advisors are hoping that you do not cut back too much!!


    John – your advsors and handlers are failing you – JUST WING IT!

    Route out the ones that worked for BUSH – Can them all!

    October 2, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. Obama = Pelosi

    Obama is not running questionable ads – he is running intentional lies and smears - In PA he blames McCain for a television plan closing – a LIE He blames McCain for shipping jobs to Bermuda – LIE Obama's campaign in Chicago actually rents office space from a Bermuda COmpany that specializes in outsourcing jobs to Bermuda - So Obama is not only lying and smearing but also he is a hypocrite -- The guy is dangerous for America – he brings his big tax package and he bankrupts us -– Some family of 6 might get a $75 credit, and then it costs the family;s bread winner his job -- Wrong Decision Wrong Choice Just Wrong for America

    October 2, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. Rob

    My question to all of those who are for the failed community organizer and the plagarist...oops, I'm sorry, The Anointed One and his lackey...Dang, sorry again, Obama and Biden is this: Were you born with this mental deficiancy that keeps you from using any sense of logic or were you perhaps hit on the head, or did you heavily experiment with mind alterring drugs? It makes no sense how anyone can sit here and say with a straight face that Obama can lead this country. There is no way on God's green Earth (or for that matter any other planet) that anyone would let someone with as little experience be in charge of anything bigger than a lemonade stand.

    The man failed as a community organizer, one walk through the south side of Chicago at night and (if you live) you'll see what a mess he left of that. He comes from the same crooked political machine that has given Illinois its current and soon to be convicted governor. In the 3 months that he's actually been doing the job he was elected to he has proven himself to be the most liberal congressman, and (at least in the eyes of Fannie and Freddie) the most in special interests' pockets.

    Plain and simple – go with Obama – say goodbye to prosperity in America. Say goodbye to security in America. Pretty much – say goodbye to America.

    October 2, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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