The Romney campaign may have been outraising the Obama campaign — until August, anyway — but during the weeks of the nomination conventions, it wasn’t outspending them.
Our friends at Kantar Media’s CMAG have the numbers: during the Republican convention, the Obama campaign ran 14,007 ads at an estimated cost of $8,147,940. Republicans spent far less during the Democratic convention — running a mere 131 ads (mostly Spanish-language) that cost $165,640.
The Obama campaign also spent big for their week in the sun (if figuratively, as it poured in Charlotte): they dropped $4,247,490 on 10,684 TV ads, while Team Romney spent $1,131,730 on the 578 ads they aired during their convention.
Matthew Dowd, who was George W. Bush’s chief political strategist and is now an analyst for Bloomberg, called the Democratic spending strategy a smart move — an attempt to “disrupt the one-way narrative of the Republican message and then to reinforce their own message during the Democratic convention.” Part of the reason the Obama campaign was able to spend, he notes, was that they had the ability to use funds allocated for primary spending, as opposed to general election spending.
Now the real buying frenzy begins in earnest in these final two months before election day as the campaigns refine their message and determine their ad buying strategies. We’ll have more on that for you in the next few days.