Through March 2012, the campaigns of the five leading
presidential candidates, including the current president, placed over 65,000
ads on local broadcast outlets -- broadcast TV, radio and cable -- with
broadcast spot TV the top choice (almost 75% of the total), followed by
That is according to Nielsen's latest accounting.
Mitt Romney was the big spender, accounting for 57% of the
total, to 32% for the other three Republican contenders (Rick Santorum, Newt
Gingrich and Ron Paul) and 11% for President Obama. The president spent the
greatest percentage of his dollars (over 83.2%) on spot TV, with Gingrich
second at 78.8%, Paul at 76.2%, Romney at 75.1% and Santorum at 59.1%.
But Romney's percentage was of 37,581 ad units to the president's
7,388, so Romney was by far the biggest spender in local TV. Santorum spent the
greatest percentage on local/regional cable (34.2%), but that was only of 9,241
ad units, so at 13.1% of 37,581 units, Romney was the biggest spender in
local/regional cable, too.
The top 10 markets for those ads were in South Carolina,
Florida and Michigan, but Seattle was the only market that drew TV and radio
dollars from all five candidates in the first quarter.