Republican and Democratic candidates have bought 19,191 campaign TV spots in South Carolina in the past year, according to Nielsen Media Research. The state is the next major primary test (Saturday) and the first one in the South.
According to Nielsen, Republican former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney bought the most at 5,257, almost as much as the other five Republican candidates put together. In second place and leading the Democrats was former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), who bought 4,088.
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) was in third with 2,809, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 2,049, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) with 1,471, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) with 1,430, former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) with 1,046, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) with 1,019 and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) with 22.
With the caveat that lots of polls have been off lately, currently, all of that spending by Romney has translated into a third-place finish.