In critical February period, Obama outspent Clinton 3-to-1 on ads

June 2, 2008

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama’s almost insurmountable lead in the race for the Democratic party presidential nomination is mainly the result of a two-week period in February when he outspent rival Hillary Clinton 3-to-1 on advertising while winning nine straight state races, according to a new analysis released Monday.

rtx6g65.jpgObama beat Clinton in states ranging from Maryland to Nebraska to Hawaii between Feb. 6 and Feb. 19, winning 281 delegates to 163 for Clinton for a net gain of 118, said the study by the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project.
Democratic candidates need the votes of 2,118 delegates to the party’s convention in August to seize the nomination. Obama currently leads Clinton in the race for elected delegates 1,729 to 1,625, a margin of 104, according to a count by MSNBC. When the votes of party leaders and others who have declared their support are factored in, Obama’s lead grows to 2,076 to 1,918, MSNBC says.

The advertising advantage alone does not explain Obama’s February winning streak, but it was likely a factor. The study found that in the nine states he won during that two-week period, Obama was on the air first and had the paid media airwaves to himself for a significant part of the time. During a nine-day advertising battle in Nebraska, for example, Obama was alone on the air for six days unchallenged by Clinton.

“Unbalanced flows of paid information in a generally positive free media environment have the greatest potential to move numbers and influence races,” said Ken Goldstein, a professor who directs the advertising project. “This was the environment between Feb. 5 and Feb. 19 and that is what won Barack Obama the Democratic nomination.”
The study found candidates for the U.S. presidency have spent nearly $200 million on advertising so far during the 2008 election campaign, with Obama leading the pack at nearly $75 million.
Obama has spent nearly $30 million more than Clinton, who has paid $46 million, and almost $20 million more than all the Republicans combined, the study found.
The Illinois senator has spent nearly seven times as much on advertising as the Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, who has paid $11 million.
Obama and Clinton spent about the same amount on advertising through the Super Tuesday contests on Feb. 5, when nearly half the country voted for presidential nominees.
But Obama outspent Clinton on advertising 3-to-1 over the following two weeks — Feb. 6 to Feb. 19 — and has outspent her 2-to-1 since that time, the study said.

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Photo credit: Top: Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama campaigns in Detroit Monday); Bottom: Reuters/Rick Wilking (Clinton campaigns in South Dakota Monday)


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“Obama has spent nearly $30 million more than Clinton, who has paid $46 million, and almost $20 million more than all the Republicans combined, the study found.

The Illinois senator has spent nearly seven times as much on advertising as the Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, who has paid $11 million.”

And when you add in all the free boosts from the reliably liberal press a) the figure spent over Clinton doubles that and b) tuning into any major news organization over the next five months will leave you with the conclusion that Obama isn’t even running against anyone.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

1.5 million contributors include over $2,000 by myself, the first time I\’ve ever given to a campaign. The money is representative of a movement that has overcome the establishment!! Hooray for the people!!! Hooray for all people no matter gender or race or religion!!!

puh-leeeeeeeez. The reason why Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee is because of all that money he spent. Oh wait, you mean maybe the person who spends the most doesn’t automatically win?

Posted by Vic Perry | Report as abusive

Matt, If Hilary had received more donations, then she would have spent more too.

I don’t see anything wrong with Barack Obama spending that amount for advertising. He had the donations to pay for it!

He is not as well known as the Clintons, plus he didn’t have a former president campaigning for him like Hilary did.

(Former presidents generally stay out of the primary races.)

So lucky Hilary, and also luckier Barack, he was not afraid to say:

“I am in this race, to tell the corporate lobbyist that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race, to take on the lobbyist, they have not funded my campaign, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people.”

…which is why I am voting for him, supporting him, and excited to think of who will be in his White House administration.

Posted by John G | Report as abusive

Superdelegates should ask themselves, with all the money
Obama spent, with the entire media behind him, Kennedy behind him, Oprah behind him…why is this still a very close race???? Could it be that maybe he’s not all he’s
cracked up to be?

Posted by paul | Report as abusive

What does it means?

If Senator Obama spent 150 millions in the campaign she only spent 50 millions that is 3 to 1

where is the rest of the money?

Mrs. Clinton must understand that american people needs a president that leads by example. We need a president that represents the minorities, Why?

By the year 2050 hispanic minorities will be the US majority. By the year 2050 aging population SS and medicare will consume 56% of the GDP.

The reason she win the gneral vote is because her mongering fear propaganda against Senator Obama.

She threatening to go independent? do it, california, and texas will vote against her. Her behavior is inappropiate and a shame to white people.

Posted by alma Ludivina | Report as abusive

Mrs Cinton contradicts herself If she was outspent 3 to 1
means Obama spent 150 million
and Clinton spent 50 millions

Why is she broken?

Where is the rest of the money?

Over the last decade we have US 4.1 trillions dollars in national debt How does she plan to do a good budget with our tax money? If she was outspent and has a large debt herself in her own campaign?????????

Posted by alma Ludivina | Report as abusive

Hillary never thought about the days after super-thuesday. She didn’t had a proper plan for the states to come after this day, nor had she any money left. The woman who always try to prepare everything got in a unprepared situation. Or if you turn it the other way round the obama campaign in full conscious of hillary’s strength tried to be prepared as good as her and ended to be better in her best field.

Posted by maz hess | Report as abusive