Tracking the candidates


Nielsen Company has to scoop on where the presidential candidates are making their early expenditures, and how frequently. Democrats as a group are spending more than Republicans, but nobody is spending like Mitt Romney (R-MA), and he’s bought almost four times as many spots as the rest of the Republican field combined. The spending on the Democratic side is much more evenly distributed. The Nielsen figures combine television and radio spots.

Iowa has been the prime beneficiary of most of the spending, with New Hampshire coming in a distant second. Very little cash has gone to other states, and only a small amount has thus far been invested in national cable.

On the Democratic side, the leading advertiser is Barack Obama (D-IL, 10,311 spots); followed by Hillary Clinton (D-NY, 7,839 spots); Bill Richardson (D-NM, 7,305 spots); Chris Dodd (D-CT, 4,064 spots); John Edwards (D-NC, 2,642 spots); and Joe Biden (D-DE, 681 spots).

As we mentioned, Mitt Romney (R-MA) blows away the competion with 17,849 spots; followed by Ron Paul (R-TX, 1,454 spots); Fred Thompson (R-TN, 1,111 spots); John McCain (R-AZ, 945 spots); Rudy Giuliani (R-NY, 881 spots); Duncan Hunter (R-CA, 88 spots); and Tom Tancredo (R-CO, 9 spots).