Romney Supporters Paid More Than Obama’s for Same TV Air Time

Photograph by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

People watch election results as TV networks begin to call the 2012 presidential election in Columbus, Ohio.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, his allied super-political action committees and the Republican National Committee matched the $1 billion-plus raised by President Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee and allied super-PACs for the 2012 campaign.

Even so, their ad spending was anything but equal.

Fully 88 percent of pro-Obama television commercials were placed by the campaign itself, entitling the president to the lowest possible ad rate.

Just 38 percent of Romney’s ads were placed by his campaign, meaning 62 percent of Romney ads were placed by the Republican National Committee or outside political committees. They spent a lot more for the same air time.

Helped by the lower ad rates, many of Obama’s spots ran during prime-time programming while Romney’s commercials were seen more often during news broadcasts.

The figures were released today by New York-based TVB, the trade association for local broadcasters, sales representatives and others in the commercial television industry. Overall campaign spending on TV ads rose by 38 percent to $2.9 billion, up from $2.1 billion in 2010 and almost double the $1.5 billion spent during the last presidential campaign in 2008.

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