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Obama, McCain Spending Big On Local Attack Ads

Complaints about the other side's negative campaigning notwithstanding, Barack Obama and John McCain have run virtually the same number of local attack TV ads against each other--at least through Sept. 7--according to Nielsen.

According to the Nielsen Monitor-Plus report, from June 7, when the primaries ended, through the first week of September, McCain ads attacking Obama ran 76,192 times, while Obama was right behind with 75,246 ads.

Those included ads from the campaigns as well as the nonprofit so-called "527" groups that back one or the other.

Both campaigns ran the most ads in the swing state of Ohio, McCain ran 14,397 (Republicans essentially have to win Ohio to get the top job), while Obama ran 11,037.

Number two in the attack ad sites for both was Michigan, though McCain has reportedly given up on that state. Other big attack ad states were Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.