Clinton Retains Critical Lead In TV Advertising, Stein, Johnson Spend More Than Trump

TV advertising has remained the centerpiece of a political campaign’s marketing strategy in 2016.

As Trump tries to defy the laws of political marketing, his campaign has fallen behind Clinton’s in a number of key swing states. Plus, his TV presence is consistently weaker than one expects from a presidential campaign.

Between August 5 and August 14, in 61 top DMAs studied by Media Matters, the Clinton campaign ran 7,720 TV spots, compared to 243 run by Rebuilding America Now, the pro-Trump super PAC. Green Party candidate Jill Stein has dipped her toes in as well, with 120 spots, all aired during "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" or "The Late Late Show With James Corden."

On the negative TV advertising front, the pro-Trump NRA Political Victory Fund ran 318 negative spots against Clinton from August 5 through 14 in the 61 top DMAs, and Rebuilding America Now PAC aired 1,108 anti-Clinton ads over that same period.



Anti-Trump TV advertising was stronger, with pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA airing 3,480 spots and NextGen California Action Committee running 309 from August 5 to 14.

The gap in overall spending this election is stark.

The Clinton campaign and outside groups outspends Trump and his surrogates 9-1, according to NBC. Over the past two months, the Clinton apparatus has spent $104 million in TV advertising between her campaign and supporting PACs, compared to $12.4 million from the Trump camp, all coming from outside groups.

Both Jill Stein and Gary Johnson have spent more on TV advertising through their campaigns than Trump himself, $189,000 and $15,000, respectively.

The Clinton campaign has outspent Trump significantly. The repercussions in the polls means the pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA will no longer advertise in Colorado or Pennsylvania until at least September 20.

Chief Clinton strategist Guy Cecil told Bloomberg: “We are going to look at other opportunities for us to expand the map and potentially reach out to some new voters as well, through voter registration and on-the-group efforts in some of our key states.”

The Trump campaign is picking up its game, however, according to a report yesterday in The Wall Street Journal. The campaign plans to start airing TV ads in the swing states of Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania starting this Friday, with a hefty wade into TV advertising expected after September 1.

It’s late, but it seems as though Trump and his team are finally getting the point.

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