A Look At John McCain's Media Spending

According to research compiled by one Democratic media buyer, John McCain is spending roughly $1.5 million a week on television advertising across the country with an average buy rate of about 400 gross ratings points per market. A McCain campaign spokesman would not say whether the Democrat's compilation reflects their purchasing trends, although an Obama campaign adviser, when shown the data, said that it comports with what they're seeing. The data is valid at least in part because the Democratic media buyer compiles the numbers from television stations themselves; it's possible that McCain is spending more than these amounts, but not less.

The chart reveals the McCain campaign's priorities. For example: over the past two weeks, less than $3000 was reported to have been spent in the Philadelphia television market. In contrast, the campaign spent $19,000 in Pittsburgh for the week ending 6/15and $26,000 for the week ending Monday. They're spending heavily in Erie and Wilkes-Barre, two strongholds of Reagan Democrats.

In Minnesota, the campaign is saturating the Minneapolis-St. Paul market; the data suggests that they've spent at least $150,000 dollars during the past two weeks.

The campaign is spending heavily in the Cleveland, OH market and the working class Youngstown, Ohio market, and less so in the more conservative Cincinnati market.

In Nevada, the campaign is spending about $100,000 per week in Las Vegas and Clark County, and no money at all in Reno.

In Michigan, McCain is concentrating as much on the Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek market as he is on Detroit.

The biggest single-market purchase for McCain: Denver, where the campaign spent at least $150,000 last week.

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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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