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Elections

Presidential Campaign TV Ad Spending Crosses $1 Billion Mark In Key States

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Supporters of President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wave flags prior to Biden's arrival for a town hall in Miami.
Chandan Khanna, AFP via Getty Images

Supporters of President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wave flags prior to Biden's arrival for a town hall in Miami.

More than $1 billion has now been spent on TV ads for the 2020 presidential election in just 13 states, an NPR analysis of the latest ad spending data from the tracking firm Advertising Analytics finds.

Most of that money has been spent by Democrat Joe Biden's campaign and groups supporting him. Biden and allies have spent more than $600 million, while President Trump's campaign and groups supporting him have spent a little over $400 million.

The money is concentrated in just six states. Almost $9 out of every $10 spent on TV in the presidential race — $882 million — is being invested in Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Arizona.

In total, Biden and allies are far outspending Trump and pro-Trump groups in those six key states by an astounding $240 million.

Biden has whopping advantages in five of those six states, the exception being North Carolina, where Trump and allies are leading in the money race. But Trump's campaign has been stretched, having to spend a lot of money in Georgia, Ohio and Iowa, three states that Trump won in 2016 that were thought to lean in Trump's direction this year.

TV ad spending has always played a big role in presidential campaigns, but it may be playing an outsize one in 2020 with so many Americans home and watching television amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Support comes from

Here's a state-by-state breakdown of where the campaigns and outside groups are on the airwaves:

Florida: $257.5 million
Biden and allies: $154.1 million ($82.3 million from campaign)
Trump and allies: $103.4 million ($67.7 million from campaign)

Pennsylvania: $195.7 million
Biden and allies: $121.5 million ($59.2 million from campaign)
Trump and allies: $74.2 million ($26.6 million from campaign)

Michigan: $120.1 million
Biden and allies: $98.6 million ($33.8 million from campaign)
Trump and allies: $21.5 million ($15 million from campaign)

North Carolina: $110.8 million
Trump and allies: $65.4 million ($32.3 million from campaign)
Biden and allies: $45.4 million ($42.5 million from campaign)

Wisconsin: $101.5 million
Biden and allies: $62.7 million ($30.1 million from campaign)
Trump and allies: $38.8 million ($10.1 million from campaign)

Arizona: $97.4 million
Biden and allies: $59 million ($40.1 million from campaign)
Trump and allies: $38.4 million ($20.1 million from campaign)

Georgia: $28.6 million
Trump and allies: $24.5 million ($14.2 million from campaign)
Biden and allies: $4 million ($4 million from campaign)

Nevada: $27.5 million
Biden and allies: $20.7 million ($9.7 million from campaign)
Trump and allies: $6.8 million ($5.8 million from campaign)

Minnesota: $27.1 million
Biden and allies: $16.3 million ($9.6 million from campaign)
Trump and allies: $10.8 million ($9.3 from campaign)

Ohio: $18.9 million
Trump and allies: $10.5 million ($9 million from campaign)
Biden and allies: $8.4 million ($6.9 million from campaign)

Iowa: $15.6 million
Trump and allies: $12.3 million ($3.8 million from campaign)
Biden and allies: $3.3 million ($3.2 million from campaign)

Texas: $7.3 million
Biden and allies: $7.1 million ($6.1 million from campaign)
Trump and allies: $156,000 ($34,000 from campaign)

New Hampshire: $4.9 million
Biden and allies: $3.1 million ($3 million from campaign)
Trump and allies: $1.8 million ($1.8 million from campaign)

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