[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/02/art.mccaincampad.cnn.jpg caption="McCain spent heavily on TV ads in Michigan."]ST. LOUIS, Missouri (CNN) – John McCain’s presidential campaign spent nearly $2 million on television in Michigan during the month of September before deciding to pull up stakes and focus resources elsewhere.
Political advertising data compiled for CNN by TNSMI-Campaign Media Analysis Group also shows that in the final two weeks of the month alone, McCain spent more than $661,000 on TV ads in the state. Two-thirds of those commercials ran in the Detroit and Grand Rapids television markets.
Even the Republican National Committee weighed in with a sizable one day ad buy of more than $62,000 on Sept. 30, the last day of the month.
A McCain aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the strategy was to try and force Obama to spend money in the state. And the aide added that there was “always a shred of hope to be able to capitalize on an electorate that was experienced and frustrated with the Democratic leaders” in the state. The McCain aide noted that Obama had invested serious time and money in Michigan and pointed to the Illinois Democrat’s decision to use the state as the stage to unveil the endorsements of former Vice President Al Gore and former Sen. John Edwards.
In the month of September, Obama spent more than $2.3 million on ads in Michigan, while the Democratic National Committee accounted for another $262,000 on campaign commercials.
It was an expensive gamble for McCain, but with 17 electoral votes on the line the campaign thought it was worth it. Now, the focus for McCain will be to keep past Republican states such as Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia in the GOP column, while trying to flip New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin as well as grabbing an electoral vote from Maine.