While North Carolina would seem the swing state President Obama is least likely to win, his campaign is still holding spend steady there. Obama’s team is staying competitive enough to force Republican nominee Mitt Romney and the outside groups that back him to pour millions into the state.
With just four weeks to go before Election Day, President Obama’s team is spending $830,000 on television advertising running in NC, according to a National Review story. That’s slightly less than the $1 million per week the campaign was spending on North Carolina advertising per week for the four weeks between 7/23 and 8/20.
By comparison, Obama’s campaign spent $1.67 million on Florida advertising for the week ending 8/20, and more than $5.5 million the week of 10/8. In Ohio and Virginia, the campaign’s spending is more than double the amounts they spent on a weekly basis in August.
Republicans have slowly ramped up their spending in North Carolina. The week of 10/8, Romney’s campaign is spending $1.4 million, while the two wings of the American Crossroads organization are dumping $1.75 million into the state, said the story. All told, Republicans were outspending Obama by a nearly five-to-one margin in that week. Over the last four weeks, Romney and his Republican allies have spent about $12.2 million on North Carolina advertising, almost four times the amount Obama has spent.
It is money Romney and his allies would desperately like to spend elsewhere. But North Carolina is an essential state for Romney’s hopes of winning the White House. Polls show Romney with a slight advantage, though neither candidate can claim a lead anywhere approaching the margin of error. While Obama’s paths to victory are myriad enough that North Carolina’s electoral votes are a luxury he could afford to lose, there is no practical path to the necessary electoral votes for Romney that doesn’t include the Tar Heel State.
So far, the Obama campaign has refused to give up on any battleground states. Romney allies have tried to use ad blitzes to put Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in play; of those three states, Republicans are only seriously contesting Wisconsin, said the national Review story.
In total, Romney, Obama, and their allies have spent more than $825 million on TV advertising this year, including $60 million during the week of 10/9 to 10/15 alone. And Republicans maintain their consistent advantage — Romney and groups that support the challenger dished out $37 million, compared with $23 million being spent on Obama’s behalf.
This week also marks the first time that Romney, whose campaign spent $18.9 million the week of 10/8, has outspent Obama. Obama’s campaign spent $18.3 million in that week.
Both campaigns are spending more than $5 million each in pursuit of Florida’s electoral votes. Republican forces are outspending Obama and his outside groups by more than $2 million in Ohio and more than $3 million in Virginia, the story said.
Obama also spent at least $1 million in Colorado and Iowa, and nearly seven figures in Nevada and New Hampshire. Romney spent more than $1 million in Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.
Republican outside groups continue to dominate their Democratic counterparts. The three largest GOP groups — American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS, and Restore Our Future — spent a combined $14 million this week. Priorities USA Action and Planned Parenthood, by contrast, spent just under $5 million on Obama’s behalf.
The National Rifle Association began running $1.4 million in television advertisements in Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin that week as well.