After a strong fundraising haul in July, the Donald Trump campaign has at long last made its first broadcast TV buy of the general election. New ads could hit the airwaves as early as today, and are expected to run through August 29.
The monies are being deployed in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — all swing states where Hillary Clinton has established a lead in the polls. As we get closer to September, expect more states to be added to the list.
For now, this gives us a good idea of where the Trump campaign thinks it can make the biggest impact, as well as the states it deems central to a November win.
According to NBC, the biggest ad buy is in Florida, where the Trump family has a home base. Florida has been one of the most contentious swing states over the years, and recently, the Clinton campaign has taken a high single-digit lead in polling.
Trump will spend a minimum of $1.44 million in Florida with a focus on Orlando ($441K) and Tampa ($440K). The campaign will also spend in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, as well as smaller five digit buys in other cities.
Pennsylvania is another critical swing state where Hillary Clinton has developed a strong polling lead that reaches into the low double digits. The state being targeted by the Trump campaign with at least $985K in broadcast ad buys.
Trump is spending a majority of the buy in Philadelphia ($530K), with $211K allocated to both Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.
In North Carolina, the Trump campaign will spend $838K, directed mostly at voters in Charlotte ($347K) and Raleigh ($220K).
The last state in this first iteration of Trump’s broadcast TV advertising strategy is Ohio, where the campaign will spend $204K in Columbus and $195K in Cincinnati, with low six-digit buys in Dayton and Toledo.
Polls show Clinton ahead in all four states since around June, bar a few lost polls showing Trump with slim leads in late June or July. Clinton’s swing state spend, and the $61 million spent by her campaign so far on TV in the general election, has shifted much of the swing state map the blue column.