April 9th, 2008
10:08 AM ET
15 years ago

Obama shatters ad spending record

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama has spent a record breaking $60 million to run more than 100,000 political television ads in pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, a new analysis conducted for CNN shows.

In contrast, John Kerry ran a little more than 19,000 TV ads four years ago in his successful bid for the Democratic nomination, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG, CNN’s consultant on political television advertising spending.

Kerry wrapped up the nomination in the first week of March 2004, while there is no end in sight in the battle between Obama and Hillary Clinton for the right to be the 2008 Democratic nominee.

Clinton, who trails Obama in fundraising by about $60 million, has run just over 60,000 TV ads in her bid for the White House.

“If it was not for Obama’s spending, Clinton’s would look pretty impressive,” said Evan Tracey, CMAG’s chief operating officer. “Clearly, the fundraising is being translated immediately into television buys.

Tracey added, “Regardless of the outcome in Pennsylvania it will be very hard to second guess Obama’s strategy. The money he is raising is being immediately translated into television buys in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Indiana.”

In Pennsylvania, Obama has spent more than $3.6 million, while pouring another $600,000 into North Carolina and $800,000 into Indiana for TV ads, according to CMAG. So far, Clinton has spent $1.4 million in Pennsylvania, just under $200,000 in North Carolina and just recently went on the air in Indiana.

Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain has run a fraction of the number of television ads aired by Clinton and Obama. In fact, two unsuccessful presidential candidates – Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat John Edwards – have run more ads than McCain, even though they both dropped their respective presidential bids more than two months ago. McCain has run about 14,000 ads, compared to Romney’s 37,000 and Edwards 15,000 commercials.

Filed under: Ads • Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Lana

    Trying to buy a presidency.

    April 9, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Deb

    He is spending all this money-and still he isn't a viable candidate!

    The questions remaining unanswered are what make Obama a candidate that is no longer viable!

    The DNC clearly did not vet him; he will easily lose in a general election. The Republicans will use Rev. Wright and Rezko to bring him down hard, and we will hand the keys over to McCain!

    We need to fly to Hillary's strengths-her Solutions for America if we are going to have a Democrat in the White House.

    April 9, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. fred

    Ophra is really paying big buck to get her man elected!!

    April 9, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Vig

    Big deal. With all the money that his campaign keeps bragging about, why hasn't he already clinched the nomination? That's the real bottom line.

    April 9, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. NObama

    It is absolutely fiscally irresponsible for Obama campaign to spend $60 million on ads alone, not to mention this is just primary. This is the so called "hope and change" candidates who calles for "changing the way Washington does business". He seems more competative than Bush and Cheny. What, he is pouring in another 3.6 million on ads?

    The question is whether in the general election the American people would vote for a money-bought nominee?

    April 9, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. AJ, IL

    And this ticker is relevant, how? Obama has the least name recognition of all the remaining presidential candidates. The purpose of fundraising is to spend. The campaigns are not profit-making organizations.

    Over concern (like this ticker suggests) on where and how much Obama's campaign spends is dumb, especially when you compare how McCain and Hillary's campaign have been run over the past year.

    April 9, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |

    Yep, that's right. I'll be sending my second donation this week. I don't mind putting my money where my mouth is.

    **********GOBAMA '08***********

    April 9, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Peter

    Barack, the best candidate money can buy!

    April 9, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Slick

    It saddens me that the uneducated Hillbots or repugnents against Obama, figured out how to type on a blog:( What's next? Rove for President. After O wins, y'all will have to endure 4, likely 8, years as we anti-bush folks have had to

    No stopping a revolution, OBAMA!!!!

    April 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. Ken

    I can not believe that there are so many dumb and blind people out there that are supporting the "Pied Piper". WAKE UP AMERICA!

    April 9, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. ALBO

    The money spent in advertising may have an influence, but certainly is
    not the only reason of HILLARY's decline in the polls.

    PENNSYLVANIA 158 Delegates
    April % ~Delegates % ~Delegates
    --- ----– -- ----- -- ----– ---–
    4/3 Insider Adv. 45% 82 42% 76
    4/3-6 Quinnipiac 50% 84 44% 74
    4/4-6 Strategic Vis, 47% 83 42% 75
    4/5-6 ARG 45% 79 45% 79 out of range –out
    4/5-7 Survey USA 56% 94 38% 64 out of range - out
    4/7 Rasmussen 48% 83 43% 75
    4/7-8 PPP 46% 82 43% 76

    It is obvious that in Pennsylvania OBAMA is trying to deliver an K.O., to
    force out HILLARY once for all. It is deplorable that SUCH AMOUNTS MUST BE SPENTONLYsuch amounts BECAUSE HILLARY REFUSES TO CONCEDE!!


    April 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. NOBAMA

    I hope Pennsylvania is smart enough to not vote for a guy just because you can't watch TV without seeing his face.


    April 9, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Ana in L.A.

    We have to ask ourselves: "Are we willing to sell our vote?" I hope not. I have alot more confidence in Sen Clinton's leadership abiliites than Obama's- Millions of $$$ is not going to change that.

    April 9, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
1 2 3