by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
David Drucker of the Washington Examiner explains why Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s advertising advantage is even greater than you might expect.
The Democratic nominee has significantly outspent her Republican opponent on television from the outset. That edge continued even after Trump finally hit the airwaves late last month.
But Clinton’s lead in aggregate dollars invested isn’t the real story.
Rather, it’s her use of modern data analytics to buy television advertising more efficiently. This approach is allowing the Clinton campaign to reach more targeted voters, more directly and for less money, than Trump.
“Clinton’s campaign is likely measuring every [voting] universe,” Republican digital strategist Mark Stephenson said. “They are buying cheaper, deeper cable networks and programs to extend their modeled persuasion and other universes to reach them on other places other than broadcast news and sports that are extremely pricey.”
A detailed review of the candidates’ television spending patterns revealed Clinton’s strategic advantage. The Washington Examiner examined advertising expenditures made during the two weeks leading up to Labor Day.
Clinton outspent Trump $14.5 million to $7.7 million, according to information provided by media buying sources. But what mattered was how she spread the money around.
Sixty-four percent of Clinton’s advertising went to broadcast television networks; 36 percent ($5.2 million) was spent on 53 different cable television networks. Trump directed 87 percent of his ad dollars to broadcast and just 13 percent ($990,000) to cable.