Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), a division of TNS Media Intelligence, tracked hundreds of new issue and political television ad campaigns on topics from healthcare to mining, along with the top February campaign spenders for the presidential run.
The Democrats “liberally” outspent the Republicans in February. The candidates’ main focus at the beginning of the month was to release ads in Super Tuesday states. However, by the end of February, candidates shifted their attention to states that had not yet had primaries and caucuses.
Overall this month, the Democrats released 103 new ads (in comparison to 69 released in January). The ads address issues such as providing healthcare for all Americans, reforming Social Security, ending the Iraq War, repairing the middle class, and bringing change to a corrupt Washington.
Barack Obama has been busy airing 71 ads in February, twice as many as he aired in January. SEIU Committee On Political Education also released ads in English and Spanish in support of Obama.
This month Hillary Clinton released 31 ads, almost three times what she released last month.
The Republicans only released six new ads in February. Ron Paul not only released ads in Texas as part of his congressional campaign, but also released one ad in his bid for the presidency — compared to the three he released in January. However, groups in support of Ron Paul released a combined total of six ads.
John McCain released two new ads in February highlighting his time as a prisoner of war, his experience that will enable him to implement a surge strategy in Iraq, and his conservative values. McCain ran one ad at the beginning of the month denouncing Mitt Romney for voting in a Democratic Primary in 1994 because he did not want to return to Reagan/Bush. The Citizens United Victory Fund released an ad denouncing John McCain. The ad featured the face of Hillary Clinton and asked the question, “Who is surprisingly liberal?” The ad concluded by saying, John McCain is liberal because he voted against Bush’s tax cuts and pushed more restrictions on gun owners’ rights.