Hillary Clinton slated to outspend Donald Trump 98-to-1 on TV ads

By Eric DuVall  |  Updated Aug. 3, 2016 at 12:59 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Hillary Clinton is slated to outspend her presidential opponent Donald Trump by more than $97 million, according to data collected by media firms tracking ad spending in the campaign.

NBC News, citing data compiled by the media consulting firm SMG Delta, said Clinton's campaign and the pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA have reserved $98 million in air time on broadcast, cable and satellite platforms from now through Nov. 8. Clinton and Priorities USA have ads targeted to every swing state in addition to a national cable ad buy.

Comparatively, Trump's campaign does not have any air time reserved and two pro-Trump super PACs have roughly $800,000 in time reserved in three states: Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Their national ad buy is about $329,000, NBC reported.

As the Rio Olympics are set to take center stage for the next two weeks, presidential campaigns tend to dial back their advertising schedule and alter the tone of the ads, preferring to ride the patriotic wave associated with the Olympics with sunny, positive ads supporting their candidate, Bloomberg News reported.

While the SMG Delta data does not track the ratio of positive-versus-negative ads from each campaign, Bloomberg reported Clinton's advertising will tick downward over the next two weeks, implying she is taking a more traditional approach to the campaign's August slowdown. Her own campaign does not have any ads booked past the first week of August, though Priorities USA will continue its usual clip of spending $2 million to $3 million per week through the Olympics.

Clinton's campaign entered August with $58 million in the bank so the lack of advertising reservations implies she is waiting for voters to fully digest the conventions and for polling in swing states to stabilize before deciding where to allocate resources during the campaign's final 10 weeks, Bloomberg reported.

Trump's campaign has not yet released its fundraising totals and campaign financial report for July.

The Olympics begin Friday and run for 17 days. In what is typically one of the slowest news months of the year, they tend to dominate media coverage -- though breaking news could change that and throw the campaigns another curveball.

Democratic strategist Anita Dunn, a veteran of President Barack Obama's two campaigns, told Bloomberg the two campaigns would be smart to use the relative calmness of two weeks out of the limelight to assess their strategy through the end of the election.

"The politics of 2016 likes to break rules, and rewrite rules, rather than follow precedent, but the Olympics has always given campaigns and candidates time to retool, reset and rest before the fall stretch, and this is probably one tradition that survives," Dunn said.

Add to that, as the election gets closer, the number of undecided voters shrinks. In fact, polling data show that's already the case.

The UPI/CVoter daily presidential tracking poll finds the number of "other" voters, defined as those in the poll who did not pick Clinton or Trump as their preference, has decreased to about 5 percent, meaning there are fewer undecided or third-party voters for the campaigns to win over. Undecided voters are much more susceptible to persuasion by campaign messaging than voters who have already made up their minds about who they will support.

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