Analysis: McCain runs more negative ads than does Obama

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Nearly every TV ad Republican John McCain ran last week was negative, compared with just 34 percent of those by Democrat Barack Obama, according to an analysis released Wednesday.

The harsher tone in McCain’s ads mirrors the sharper attacks he and his running mate Sarah Palin have been making on the campaign trail as polls show Obama opening up a lead.

Obama also has a lead in fundraising, which is letting him do more advertising than McCain, the Wisconsin Advertising Project report said.

Spending on TV advertising shows a lot about where candidates believe their campaigns are doing well and where they need to do better. States targeted for advertising spending are generally more competitive, and the candidate who can afford to run more ads has a better chance of reaching voters.

Between Sept. 28 and Saturday, Obama spent more than $17 million on ads compared with just under $11 million by Mc- Cain and the Republican National Committee.

That is a reversal from the last study, which looked at Sept. 6-13 and showed both sides nearly equal in spending. But during that week, both sides spent about half as much as last week.

The candidates spent nearly $4 million last week in Ohio alone, the most of any state.

Obama spent more than $2 million there and in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida. McCain didn’t break $2 million in any state.

Obama is outspending McCain and Republicans in nearly all the competitive states. The only states where McCain spent more were Iowa and Minnesota.

The top markets for television advertising nationally were Las Vegas and Denver, which are both in states where polls show Obama and McCain running a tight race.

Obama seems to be trying to cut into Republican territory, while McCain is defending it.

President Bush won 10 of the 15 states where both candidates are advertising, said Ken Goldstein, director of the Advertising Project and a University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor.

“The campaign is being played on the Republican side of the field this year,” he said.

More than half the money spent went to Midwest states, which both candidates see as important to winning the election.

The report was done the week McCain pulled his campaign out of Michigan. His regional staff for Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin are now located in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha.

While McCain has gone more negative in recent days, over the life of the campaign neither side has had many positive ads, according to the report by the Wisconsin Advertising Project.

To date 73 percent of McCain’s ads and 61 percent of Obama’s have been negative, the report said.

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