Report: Obama Outspent Hillary 2:1 on Ohio Ads, Still Lost

The University of Wisconsin Advertising project has released an interesting report (pdf)on ad spending in Ohio by the candidates and interest groups supporting them:

Obama outspent Hillary 2 to 1 on ads.

In the high-profile Ohio presidential primary campaign, the campaigns of the two Democratic candidates for president aired over 16,000 spots, spending approximately $6.8 million. Obama outspent Clinton by a margin of nearly two-to-one, with the Illinois Senator spending over $4.4 million to air just over 10,000 spots. Clinton spent $2.3 million and aired just over six thousand spots. Republicans were largely absent in Ohio; neither John McCain nor Mike Huckabee aired a single ad leading up to the Ohio primary.

The SEIU and United Food and Commerical Workers Int'l Union spent $1 million in Ohio on ads for Obama. The 527 group supporting Hillary took spent $80,000. [More...]

American Leadership Project (ALP), a 527 group supporting Clinton, spent over $80,000 and aired over 175 ads. Obama saw more advertising on his behalf, with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) spending over $1 million combined to air nearly 2,500 spots. Groups supporting Obama ran more ads than groups supporting Senator Clinton in every media market.

And it seems a little criticism of your opponent while campaigning doesn't hurt:

Over one-fifth of Clinton’s advertisements contained negative content, while less than five percent of Obama’s ads were negative. All these ads drew contrasts between the two Democratic candidates. In general, the tone of the campaign was positive, with the vast majority of ads from both campaigns promoting their candidate. The “3am phone call” ads did not air in Ohio media markets, but did receive extensive coverage on the news.

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    Texas (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:16:28 PM EST
    I read somewhere he outspent her even more in Texas.  Do you have any numbers on Texas?

    I've read 4:1 in TX but can't verify it (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by RalphB on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:37:37 PM EST
    Everyone is ready, willing and able to (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Joike on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:00:26 PM EST
    point out the flaws of others, but rarely able to look in the mirror and recognize the same flaws in themselves.

    Because people tend to advocate on sites like these rather than discuss, the threads break down into bashing each other rather than seeing that one another may have a point.

    Clinton worked hard in Ohio and came out with a big win.  Obama was able to initially narrow the race, but, even with a money adavantage, couldn't close the deal.

    The fact that the race continues owes to Clinton's ability and tenacity not just Obama's inability to connect with enough voters in Ohio.

    I still think Obama will be the eventual nominee, and, hopefully, he and his campaign will learn invaluable lessons from this challenge that it ain't over til its over.

    I don't think McCain will be half the campainger that Clinton is.

    If Obama wins, he will have overcome a tough opponent with a lot of strengths both personal and institutional.

    If Clinton wins, she will have scored an incredible comeback victory.

    Either way, we have a strong candidate heading into the GE.

    I agree (none / 0) (#39)
    by Raheem on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:03:58 PM EST
    For some reason, I dont think these attacks will be good for him come November...

    I mistyped (none / 0) (#43)
    by Raheem on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:14:50 PM EST
    I dont think these attacks will be bad for him... I cant imagine what more the Republicans can do

    Then you're not thinking (5.00 / 5) (#44)
    by RalphB on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:17:00 PM EST
    What the Republicans will do is make those Swift Boat ads look like a Christmas greeting.  Calling them racist won't even slow them down either.  Good luck with that.

    That kind of spending ratio... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Oje on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:53:42 PM EST
    seems unsustainable through June 1. I made a mistake looking at fec.gov records earlier this month, but I still have a question about his cash-in-hand. Even if he outspends her 2:1 (Ohio) or up to 3:1 (rumored in Texas) in each of the remaining states, he is no longer outraising her at that ratio (11:7) in February.

    With national tracking polls locked in a statistical heat and her supporters increasingly solidifying behind her for the long nomination, Clinton presumably will be able to force Obama into astronomical burn-rates just to cut his losses to 5-10% points per primary. That is not a narrative worthy of superdelegates' support.

    If I were a prospective investor (none / 0) (#59)
    by 0 politico on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 07:40:25 PM EST
    I would not be impressed.  That kind of spending versus results may have mitigated the losses, but did not produce wins.  In these states, will he do much better in the fall.  I thought I read a while back that Republican 527s have a couple of hundred million on hand to spend.  It will kind of hard for anyone to outspend this by a substantive enough margin to overcome the negative messages we'll be seeing.  And, McCain will not have to do all the nasty work himself.

    Heh. Negative advertising gets a bad rap. (none / 0) (#1)
    by sweetthings on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:11:43 PM EST
    Everyone hates it, but it works.

    Yes and no (none / 0) (#45)
    by faux facsimile on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:29:28 PM EST
    I don't think anybody argued they were ineffective. Otherwise nobody would use them.

    The problem is that they have unhelpful side-effects. Negative attacks, even when they are later shown to be false, often have an effect. This makes life a lot easier for the less scrupulous - your attacks don't have to be legit to help you. In a Republican-Democratic matchup, I really don't see that being helpful. They can do a lot of things we can't, and get away with it.

    I also don't think, all other things being equal, decreasing turnout is good, and that's another typical effect of negative ads.


    Huh. That's less than in previous states (none / 0) (#4)
    by Cream City on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:18:23 PM EST
    with reports of 4:1 spending, at least, in states like my state, Wisconsin.

    With all those vaunted fundraising announcements, this can't mean that he's running out of money!

    Why not spend it in Ohio, then, if 3:1 or even 4:1 spending is what it takes for him to win?

    I guess I'm wondering (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:21:13 PM EST
    whether all his extra money will help in PA? Maybe if he starts airing ads now, with six weeks to go, it will. But if he just starts advertising shortly before the primary, probably not.

    Do campaigns make agreements with each other on when to start advertising?

    I'm sure they hear from the (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Kathy on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:27:16 PM EST
    television stations about ad buys.  There are salespeople at the stations who make commissions off sold air time, and if one candidate does a buy, they call the other candidate to make another sale.

    There is a risk with advertising of oversaturation and annoying people.  According to market research, it takes about seven views for an image or a phrase to get into a viewer's head, but there is a fine line between positive and negative associations.  "Active-on, apply directly to the forehead!"  I imagine they'll start soft and then ramp it up the closer they get to election day.  Feel good about the candidate commercials early on, then the harder-hitting ones later.

    Do we know what Obama's FEC report looks like?  I want to know what his cash on hand is after all this spending.


    I think they're smart enough to know (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:25:28 PM EST
    familiarity breeds contempt.  You want to start early enough to make a difference, but not so early people are sick of your face by election day.

    Case in point, the CA gov. primary from a couple years ago.


    Governed by a kind of (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:26:29 PM EST
    mutually assured destruction. That is unless one party has a massive cash advantage.

    I'm guessing that the two camps are starting from near zero after OH and TX.


    He outspent her in Ohio (none / 0) (#6)
    by Raheem on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:24:25 PM EST
    Because he has to come in and establish his name... Hillary is Hillary Clinton, and does not necessarily have too... everyone knows her stance and her position (well, when she isnt being deceptive)

    He has to outspend her so people know who he is... their were articles as late as February asking "Who is Barack Obama?"

    Huh (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:30:40 PM EST
    I guess they don't have cable or the internets in Ohio either. Seriously, this argument is getting old and it hasn't held water since oh, last Fall.

    Because people know what Obama's stances were... (1.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Raheem on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:41:09 PM EST
    right? most people dont... most people dont watch the political pundits, or visit blogs like this... Obama is only a recent figure on the national scene, compared to Hillary, who has been a figure for nearly 20 years... he has to work harder to get people's attention, unlike Hillary...

    its not that hard to figure out...

    as for Ferraro resigning, good... too bad its 2 days too late... I would say im stunned that their hasnt been a blog post on this site about her comments... but Im not surprised since folks on here like to take the Fox News approach to stories...


    A Fox News approach? (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Steve M on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:45:16 PM EST
    There was more than one thread on Ferraro.  I guess the Fox News approach involves not reading or something.  I'm sorry you didn't find those threads as I'm sure your comments would have been very insightful.

    Going through the search (none / 0) (#29)
    by Raheem on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:50:31 PM EST
    I found one thread dedicated to her comments... and many of the folks on here were defending her comments... I also did not find anyone chastising the Clinton campaign's reaction (the weak chastising) and them trying to spin her comments as an attack on Obama

    That's funny (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Steve M on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:54:50 PM EST
    just one comment ago you were convinced there hadn't been any posts at all.

    I would have more sympathy (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:46:05 PM EST
    for this line of argument if he actually used his advertising to tell us what his stances were.

    And he has to "work harder to get people's attention"? What's your evidence of that? He announces a rally and tens of thousands of people show up. I'm not knocking him for this, I think it's incredibly impressive. But the idea that poor, unknown Barack has to jump up and down to get anyone to take notice of him is bs.


    Maybe he should debate more often (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by badger on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:01:58 PM EST
    And it wouldn't cost him a cent. (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:14:13 PM EST
    Then why are you here? (none / 0) (#22)
    by Kathy on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:43:56 PM EST
    If you feel like this site is so biased, it begs the question.

    I have the right... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Raheem on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:45:19 PM EST
    To read this blog, correct?

    I choose too... im entertained by the depths some go to defend Hillary and bash Obama... its funny to me..


    Right back at ya (5.00 / 4) (#28)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:49:16 PM EST
    Please, come and participate in the discussion.  But bring good arguments and new thoughts, not illogical memes that are old and tired and were discredited here long ago.

    Discredited? (1.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Raheem on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:53:05 PM EST
    Most of what the people say that things against Hillary usually get personal attacked... or the thread gets closed...

    Im still waiting for something I said to get discredited...


    "Who is Barack Obama" (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:13:24 PM EST
    Gallup estimated Obama's name recognition at 81% last August, while Edwards was 83% at that time and Clinton's was 95%.

    That was long before most people were paying any attention to the primaries.

    Still wanna go with the "Who is Barack Obama?" argument?


    You were discredited for an untruth (none / 0) (#38)
    by Cream City on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:03:46 PM EST
    about this site. Read up. Then apologize.

    Right. (none / 0) (#56)
    by 0 politico on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 07:19:50 PM EST
    Unless folks were off in Tibet for a pilgrimage, they new the name and the face.  His problem was connecting to that audience, and vice verse.  Perhaps, like me, they were not convinced there is anything new or earth shaking behind the rhetoric.

    I am still wondering if he has an original position on anything that he can actually maintain for more than a week.


    I think the "who is Barack Obama" (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by litigatormom on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:34:01 PM EST
    stories are not written from the premise that no one knows who he is.

    People are still writing "who is Hillary Clinton" stories too.


    But I thought (none / 0) (#60)
    by Chisoxy on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 09:25:38 PM EST
    So many people have cable and are informed that thats the reason no Wisconsin debate was needed.

    Maybe that was just Wisconsin.


    Ferraro Resigns (none / 0) (#7)
    by Paladin on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:25:20 PM EST
    I know this is OT, but just saw this headline on Taylor Marsh's site.  May want a thread on this one.

    And they're taking it real well (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:30:49 PM EST
    On the pro-Obama blogs.

    What does that mean? (none / 0) (#14)
    by litigatormom on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:33:00 PM EST
    Are they gratified, or are they calling for a public beheading?

    it was too little too late (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:33:33 PM EST

    Kind of like the MI and FLA primaries (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by litigatormom on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:36:19 PM EST
    Once messed up, not possible to correct or remedy?

    Jeez. They're just upset that one of their talking points has been taken away from them. Gerry Ferraro has been repudiated. The humiliation of a flawed, but still brave and historic figure, is not enough.

    The big question is, with Keith Blowhardman still do his SPECIAL COMMENT, or will he pretend he hasn't heard the news, just like he did when he kept repeating the "Clinton talked to the Canadians first" story, even after it had been debunked.


    Who's next? Discredit Shirley Chisholm (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Cream City on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:09:00 PM EST
    who was the first African American to run for president? Heck, let's go back and discredit Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucy Stone. Thank you, LitMom, for also noting Ferraro's historic courage, when she took the crap that Clinton is taking now, too. This one crosses the line for me -- attacking and discrediting "old ladies" has been Obama's modus operandi from the start, with Alice Palmer in Chicago. For this, I do not forgive. Ever. I have had enough from this and the race card tossed at anyone in his exalted way. Will any Dem leaders be left standing when Obama is done? Watch out, Gore. Stay silent. Stay safe.

    Hmm... (none / 0) (#49)
    by faux facsimile on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:52:28 PM EST
    I admire Ferraro for the example she set in 1984. But comments like:

    "If Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn't be in the race," (1988)

    and now:

    "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position."

    they really don't strike me as acceptable for somebody with a substantial role in Democratic campaign.


    Without getting into the different (none / 0) (#58)
    by litigatormom on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 07:33:45 PM EST
    contexts those two statements, she has resigned, and the cry for further vengeance is nothing more than a desire to humiliate woman who is a heroine to many.  Heroines, like heroes, aren't perfect.  Ferraro was at best clumsy about what she said.  But I don't believe that she is a racist

    BTW, a while ago on Tweety, Claire McCaskill, an Obama surrogate, said that it Obama's unique "background" and "life story" inspires people and gets him votes.  I don't think she was talking just about the fact that he grew up in Hawaii or lived for a time in Indonesia.  


    I know this is O/T but (none / 0) (#11)
    by litigatormom on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:28:48 PM EST
    MSNBC.com's home page has a breaking news banner stating that Gerry Ferraro is leaving Clinton's campaign.

    And (none / 0) (#57)
    by 0 politico on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 07:26:15 PM EST
    NBC had Ann Curry trying to cut up GF on a nightly news interview.  GF did not sit idly by and just take it.  She resigned.  She also turned this back on the BO campaign.  The comments, according to GF, were made in a paid speech, which was nit expected to be covered (yes, she should have known better by now) as there was no evidence the press was in the audience.  She chided Axelrod and company for ferreting this out and making an issue out of it.  She also stated that the BO campaign was running a race-baiting campaign - no apologies on that comment.  Curry could not get her to flinch.

    Right or wrong, I won't say.  But, she stuck by her guns.  Something you don't see much of these days.


    new kind of politics (none / 0) (#16)
    by joei on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:33:49 PM EST
    outspending and loosing

    worked great for Romney! (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Kathy on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:45:22 PM EST
    I may be wrong... (1.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Raheem on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:43:37 PM EST
    But Obama is cut a 20+ lead in half in Ohio... and is currently leading in pledged delegates (caucus and primary delegates, now that Sen. Clinton wants to differentiate the two) and popular votes... he also won a few delegates in California as well...

    Meaning.... (1.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Raheem on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:43:56 PM EST
    He is hardly losing

    u r right (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by joei on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:51:55 PM EST
    he will win the GE by just narrowing the lead with McCain in all the key states.

    also, why waste money in big bad elections... lets just caucus our way to presidency


    effective strategy approaching infinity :-) (none / 0) (#33)
    by RalphB on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:55:20 PM EST
    The Big State's she has won (none / 0) (#37)
    by Raheem on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:02:34 PM EST
    California, New York, New Jersey are Dem States

    Texas is a Red State... Ohio is a wash... could go either way...


    Too brief and dismissive (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by ahazydelirium on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:50:57 PM EST
    Many of Obama's wins have been in reliably red states, and there is no guarantee that he will re-win those states in the General Election. For an example of the limits of his ability, see here. Indeed, his red-state wins make his chances in November seem rather small (in my eyes). Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska and Nebraska are all dependably red states.

    Additionally, his caucus wins should not be taken as signs of his electability over Hillary: caucuses are undemocratic and not representative of general voting trends. A significant portion of his wins (and delegates) have come from caucuses, but Hillary shows great strength in primaries.

    Hillary's strong showing in New Jersey, on the other hand, gives me hope. It has been reliably Democratic for the last couple elections; however, it tends to have long stretches of alignment between the two parties. Before its Democratic streak from  1992-2004, it went to the Republicans from 1968-1988. While it will likely go Democratic again, I wouldn't count it out of the contest. And I'd rather have a candidate who could take the 15ish electoral votes.

    Her strong showing in Ohio (contrary to his poor showing) is vitally important in a swing state. To dismiss it so lightly is troubling in a Democratic race. Again, I expect the nominee to be able to take it; and, I think Hillary has demonstrated that she can.

    Although, it's still 6 weeks away (barring an massive scandal), Hillary is likely to take Pennsylvania. The demographics favor her; she has familial connections to the state; mayors, representatives, and the governor have endorsed her. Many of these figures are quite popular in the state.


    California (none / 0) (#48)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:52:12 PM EST
    I live in California.  Have you seen the Republican turnout here?  If they aren't motivated yet, they will be.  If 10% of Clinton's support drops off, and 10% of Obama's indies flip to McCain, it only takes a 10% increase in Republican turnout to put California on the table.  Some of the turnouts and the expected loss of support brings up a few issues.

    O/T: There's an active thread on Electability (none / 0) (#51)
    by cymro on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:55:03 PM EST
    Those can be Sneator Clinton secret weapon in (none / 0) (#34)
    by Salt on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:58:36 PM EST
    Pa. Awful jsut awful.

    Like your spelling :) (none / 0) (#53)
    by cymro on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:56:32 PM EST
    I realize (none / 0) (#46)
    by DaytonDem on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:35:46 PM EST
    that this is just an anecdotal observation, but man of man did it seem like more than two to one spending here. Maybe it was just this region of Ohio but the Obama commercials were everywhere and Hillary...not so much. Clinton did hit all 88 counties though.

    Agreed! (none / 0) (#52)
    by NecSorteNecFato on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:56:01 PM EST
    I live in NE Ohio and we must have had an Obama ad on every commercial break in primetime, and maybe 2 Clinton ads. After while it was Yes We Can...have ads on every five minutes. Plus mailers.

    Here in Cinci, on the radio station I listen to (none / 0) (#54)
    by trishb on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 06:04:00 PM EST
    There was an Obama spot every commercial break.  I heard maybe one Hillary ad on a different station.

    Clinton worked the people in person... (none / 0) (#55)
    by Rainsong on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 07:14:14 PM EST
    I read that she did meet & greets with workers at dawn shift-changes, in chilly bleak Ohio.

    It impressed -me- anyway, that she did things like that. Then people worried about the weather on primary day, and its potential effect on turnout - but they still came out on those bad roads, mostly for -her-.

    Obama prefers rallies in large venues in the more affluent cities, often charging high ticket prices, but there are voters who can't afford the bus-fare to go to those sorts of things. And the "change" meme on TV ads doesn't work all that well in some demographics, like seniors and the working-class.

    I've heard seniors saying things like we were college kids once too, we were once the excited passionate Youth Vote, and we were going to change the world too. Besides, maybe her message on the economy and health care resonates more.