Romney Leads in Campaign Advertising; Clinton, Obama in Tight Website Race

October 16, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Paid Search | Radio | Television

Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney has placed more political ads than any other two presidential candidates combined – he has placed 10,893 political ads from January 1 to October 10, compared with 5,975 for Bill Richardson and 4,293 for Barack Obama, the two runners-up – The Nielsen Company reported.

Nielsen also reported:

  • Almost 95% of the total 28,725 presidential campaign ads placed this year were on local television, and over 71% of those were placed in Iowa.
  • During the month of August, HillaryClinton.com (759,000) and BarackObama.com (749,000) continued to be in a tight race for the most unique visitors to their campaign websites.
  • Hillary Clinton generated the most “Buzz” in online blog discussions. On the Republican side, both Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney experienced increases, but the rate was outpaced by the growth in buzz about Fred Thompson, who officially entered the race during the quarter.

Traditional Media: Democrats Outpace GOP

  • Overall, the Democrats have taken the lead in running Presidential campaign advertising. The Democratic candidates have run a total of 16,683 television advertising spots compared with 12,042 spots by the Republican candidates.

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  • Hillary Clinton has run only half as many ads as Richardson or Obama but has spread her advertising around in many more states.
  • With nearly 11,000 ads, Romney has far outpaced his Republican rivals. John McCain, for example, has run 166 local ads, all in New Hampshire, and Fred Thompson has run 13 ads, all on national cable. Both McCain and Thompson have only recently started running spots, with their ads airing since September.

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  • Rudy Giuliani continues his strategy of running ads exclusively on radio with a total of 642 spots airing during this time period.

The Online Race

Over the past several months, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been vying for the most popular presidential campaign website:

  • This summer, Clinton led in June, Obama led in July and Clinton pulled ahead again in August, with 759,000 unique visitors.
  • Obama followed close behind in August, with 749,000 unique visitors.
  • John Edwards rounded out the top three campaign sites with 448,000 unique visitors.
  • Relative newcomer Fred Thompson took the No. 4 spot among all candidates in August and was the online leader among Republicans with 410,000 unique visitors to Fred08.com.
  • Republicans Mitt Romney and Ron Paul followed with 291,000 and 210,000 unique visitors, respectively.

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Despite low web traffic, John McCain continues to lead the presidential contenders in online advertising, with 4.3 million sponsored link impressions in August.

Dennis Kucinich ranked No. 2 with 1.8 million sponsored links, followed by Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton with 1.7 million and 522,000 sponsored link impressions, respectively.

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Buzz-Worthy Candidates

  • Hillary Clinton continues to lead in online buzz, generating the most online mentions in blogs for the third quarter.
  • Fred Thompson, who announced his candidacy on The Tonight Show and on his website, experienced the greatest growth in mentions, increasing 526% compared with the first quarter.
  • Mentions of Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani also grew during the quarter, while mentions of John McCain slipped.

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Nielsen measures television and radio advertisements through Nielsen Monitor-Plus, internet advertising through Nielsen/NetRatings, and blog and other consumer-generated media activity through Nielsen BuzzMetrics.

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