Romney, Obama Lead Ad Spenders This Cycle

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The University of Wisconsin's Ken Goldstein is out with his eagerly awaited analysis of presidential campaign TV advertising in 2007-8, and here are the highlights:

** The candidates spent more than $107m on ads. Mitt Romney spent three times as many ads as his nearest opponents -- 35,000 separate spots costing him $29M, while Barack Obama has spent about $5M more than Hillary Clinton.

** The only candidate who has not aired a negative television ad: Barack Obama.

** Third party groups spent a combined total of $3M to influence the presidential race.

** Mike Huckabee and John Edwards are singled out for running ads that name their opponents.

** $43M worth of television ads aired in Iowa.

** Through last Sunday, only $3M worth of ads had been aired in the Super Tuesday states.

** Interesting factor: Barack Obama narrated more than 80% of his own ads, compared to less than 50% for Sen. Hillary Clinton.

(All data is courtesy of TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG with analysis by the Wisconsin Advertising Project)

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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