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Obama makes big ad buy in RI (II)

It was reported here more than a week ago that Obama was significantly outspending Hillary on TV in Rhode Island. Today, the ProJo fills in some of the details:

As is often the case in politics, campaign money — or the shortage of it in Clinton’s case — dictates the TV fight, now in the final 10 days before the election.

Obama is outspending Clinton more than 3 to 1 in Rhode Island on TV advertising on four local stations: WPRI-12, NBC-10, Fox Providence and ABC-6.

The Illinois senator has booked more than 640 commercial spots on the four local channels in the 2½ weeks before the state’s presidential primary. The total cost of Obama’s advertising is about $156,000, according to records at the TV stations.

Clinton has booked around 160 ads, at a total cost of about $43,000.

The spending ratio was not quite as dramatic as in the recent Wisconsin race, where Obama dominated the paid airwaves nearly 5 to 1 on the way to a 17-point victory in the Feb. 19 primary.

“Advertising can tell us much about the state of the campaign,” said Ken Goldstein, political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who is overseeing a study on political advertising in that state. “The fact that Clinton was outspent so significantly speaks to the financial situation she faces.

“The simple explanation is he’s got money, she doesn’t,” Goldstein said. “Advertising is reality. You can talk about how well your campaign is going, but if you’re not up on the air, you’re not up. If Hillary Clinton had lots of money, her advertising would be equal to Barack Obama’s.”

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