Obama, Romney campaigns invest millions in Triangle TV ads
Story by Erika Keil and Graphics by Kevin Uhrmacher, Meredith Burns, Bailey Seitter, Matt Evangelisto, Nikki Gauthreaux and Allie Knowles for The Daily Tar Heel
“It’s time to put Americans back to work.”
“Everyone deserves a fair shot.”
Do these slogans sound familiar? That’s no mistake.
Since August, the North Carolina region known as the Triangle has been flooded with almost $7 million in television ads from both Democratic and Republican campaigns and super PACs, according to an analysis of ad records from the region’s largest television networks — WRAL, FOX-50, NBC-17 and ABC-11 — by The Daily Tar Heel.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and outside groups supporting him have pumped more than $34 million into the state since the week of March 19 — compared to about $22 million spent by President Barack Obama and allied groups, according to a national analysis by SMG Delta, an ad-tracking firm.
North Carolina ranks fourth among states in total presidential campaign advertising spending. It trails only Florida, Ohio and Virginia, respectively.
“At the end of the day, this will be the most expensive election in history,” said Francis De Luca, president of the right-leaning Civitas Institute.
After Obama narrowly won the state by about 14,000 votes in 2008, state polls have indicated that North Carolina will likely be a battleground state again in this November’s election.
Romney leads Obama by an average margin of 0.8 percentage points in a variety of state polls — a virtual tie given the polls’ margins of error of between 3.1 and 4.5 percent — according to Real Clear Politics.
But the clearest indicator of the state’s battleground status might be both campaigns’ ad spending.
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