Romney, Obama lead TV spots


NEW YORK -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is out in front of the air war, putting on many more TV ads than any of his competitors. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has put more TV ads on the airwaves than any of his Democratic competitors.

But Nielsen Monitor-Plus data released Tuesday finds that Obama's TV spending doesn't even come close to Romney, who has placed 16,876 spots through Nov. 11. Obama has placed 10,217 spots through Nov. 11. Romney far outpaces his GOP competitors, including Fred Thompson (1,068), Ron Paul (549), John McCain (945) and Rudy Guiliani (116).

Despite Romney's big lead in spot TV, the Democrats are using the medium more frequently than the Republicans. Beyond Obama's 10,217 spots, many of the candidates have placed thousands of TV ads including Bill Richardson (7,144), Chris Dodd (4,060), Hillary Clinton (7,823) and John Edwards (2,642). Joe Biden has placed only 681 TV ads, all but four in Iowa.

Most of the ad spending has come in Iowa, whose Jan. 3 caucus is the first test of the presidential campaign and the place where most of the candidates have been for the past three years building support. Romney, Obama, Clinton and Richardson have been plastering the airwaves in Iowa, with Romney running 7,469 spots to Obama's 8,494, Clinton's 6,260 and Richardson's 6,477. Some candidates, like Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, haven't run any spots in Iowa. Most of the candidates have run ads in New Hampshire while only a few, Thompson and Edwards, have run spots in the early primary state of South Carolina.

Other early states include Maine, Vermont, Michigan and Georgia.