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Kerry Campaign Goes Positive

The presidential campaigns continue to concentrate their political TV-time buys as the race draws to a close and John Kerry has recently aired no purely attack ads.

That's according to a new report from Nielsen Monitor Plus and the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project. Of the 10 most-advertised-to markets by the Republican and Democratic Presidential campaigns between Sept. 24 and Oct. 7, half are in Ohio and Florida--two key battleground states.

In fact, 44 of the top 50 advertised-to markets are in just 10 key states, the above two, plus Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

According to the study, 87% of all presidential ads aired in the top 50 markets, although they represent just 27% of the country.

In other words, says the study, "the need for campaigns to focus their finite advertising budgets on the few states still in contention has left over 70% of the potential voters largely or completely out of the main way that presidential campaigns are communicating their message."

For those who were getting that message, it differed depending on the candidate.

According to the study, no ads authorized by Senator John Kerry "exclusively" criticized George W. Bush, while 84% of those ads contrasted the two candidates and 16% were purely positive messsages about Kerry. By contrast, the President's spots were evenly divided among positive ads (36%), contrasting ads (34%) and attack ads (30%).