MSNBC’s First Read brings us our weekly red meat: the top 10 media markets where campaigns are spending real money to reach voters. North Carolina has been a hot topic each week as I have argued from the beginning that it is not a Battleground state despite media misrepresentations to the contrary. Week after week, the fluctuation of ad spending in North Carolina has been intriguing — ranging from prominence for both campaigns, to solely prominent for Romney, to a large pick up last week, to barely making the top ten this week:
Below are this week’s 10 hottest TV markets in the presidential contest (in terms of advertising points from June 18-25).
|Hottest Markets for the week 6/18-6/24||Hottest Markets for the week 6/11-6/17|
|1. Richmond-Petersburg, VA: (Obama 1,074, Romney 981, Priorities 337, Restore 265, Crossroads 45)
2. Norfolk-Portsmouth, VA: (Obama 1,090, Romney 889, Priorities 280, Restore 240, Crossroads 51)
3. Colorado Springs, CO: (Romney 1,062, Obama 755, Restore 355, Priorities 226, Crossroads 40)
4. Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA: (Obama 1,057, Romney 830, Restore 416, Crossroads 69)
5. Cincinnati, OH: (Obama 998, Romney 877, Restore 347, Crossroads 56)
6. Cleveland, OH: (Obama 951, Romney 625, Restore 229, Priorities 213, Crossroads 46)
7. Denver, CO: (Obama 885, Romney 825, Restore 225, Priorities 123)
8. Columbus, OH: (Obama 723, Romney 610, Priorities 341, Restore 199, Crossroads 69)
9. Charlotte, NC: (Romney 749, Obama 746, Restore 324, Crossroads 45)
10. Des Moines, IA: (Obama 740, Romney 623, Restore 207, Planned Parenthood 159, Crossroads 36)
|1. Columbus, OH: (Obama 1420, Crossroads GPS 501, Romney 428, Priorities USA 335)
2. Richmond-Petersburg, VA: (Romney 1105, Obama 750, Priorities USA 341, Crossroads GPS 326)
3. Des Moines, IA: (Romney 982, Obama 772, Planned Parenthood 481, Crossroads 272)
4. Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA: (Romney 1106, Obama 842, Crossroads 507)
5. Reno, NV: (Obama 1,224, Romney 870, Crossroads 341)
6. Raleigh-Durham, NC: (Romney 1055, Obama 870, Crossroads 487)
7. Greensboro, NC: (Romney 1252, Obama 770, Crossroads 387)
8. Norfolk-Portsmouth, VA: (Romney 1004, Obama 700, Crossroads 367, Priorities 283)
9. Charlotte, NC: (Romney 1199, Obama 799, Crossroads 333)
10. Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville, NC: (Obama 1175, Crossroads 1040)
The top 10 ad markets were spread between 5 states.(prior two weeks in parenthesis, more recent week first)
- Virginia: 7624 vs 7331 last week (8995, 10585)
- Ohio: 6284 vs 2684 (5615, 6410)
- Colorado: 4116; no market in top 10 last week
- North Carolina: 1864 vs 9367 last week (8975, 9135)
- Iowa: 1765 vs 2507 (3400, 2740)
North Carolina was first last week but it is almost tied for last this week. The yo-yo focus on North Carolina ad spending remains intriguing. Last week we speculated the heavy ad spend was a last gasp, big push by the Obama campaign before they effectively pull up stakes. The precipitous drop-off this week and only 40% of the spend coming from Obama would seem to confirm our thoughts. And note the only market is the city where the national convention will be held.
Virginia and Ohio remain 1 and 1A in terms of campaign priorities. Virginia has been #1 every week for ad spending. This was the first week that Obama outpaced Romney (4254 vs 3370).
Ohio had a big step up this week returning to prior weekly intensity. Obama outpaced Romney again for the first time in the state (3226 vs 3058).
Colorado‘s return to the top 10 saw Romney outpace Obama (2507 vs 1989). This was a large commitment considering it dropped out of the top ten at the start of the month when the campaigns only bought 2450 in total.
Nevada drops out after first appearance in top 10 last week
*** MSNBC takeaways:
Eight of the 10 hottest advertising markets (in terms of advertising points from June 18-24) are in the three battleground states of Virginia, Ohio, and Colorado.
Three of this week’s top four markets are in Virginia, including No.1 Richmond (which was No.2 last week).
Three Ohio markets make our list (Cincy, Cleveland, Columbus), compared with just one from last week.
For the first time on our weekly list, we have two Colorado markets (Colorado Springs and Denver). This shouldn’t be surprising after our NBC-Marist poll showed a tight race in the state and especially after that Peter Hart focus group there.
There’s just one North Carolina market (Charlotte) after four Tar Heel State markets were on our list last week (Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro, and Asheville).
Bottom line: This week, it’s all about Virginia, Ohio, and Colorado. By the way, for those scoring at home, a Virginia market has been No.1 in the most saturated category for two of the last three weeks.