Trump's Last-Minute $140 Million Ad Blitz Is Starting to Happen

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The Ad Age Presidential Campaign Ad Scorecard is sponsored by The Trade Desk

Editor's note: Here's the 33rd installment of the 2016 Presidential Campaign Ad Scorecard. The chart below represents a collaboration between the Ad Age Datacenter -- specifically, Kevin Brown, Bradley Johnson and Catherine Wolf -- and Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), together with Ad Age Digital Content Producer Chen Wu. Some context from Simon Dumenco follows. --Ken Wheaton

The running narrative of Campaign Scorecard over the past couple of months: Donald Trump's campaign has been spending a relative pittance on TV and radio advertising compared to Hillary Clinton's campaign. But in Ad Age's Sept. 12 cover story, I speculated that Trump was "conserving cash for an October all-out attack-ad blowout against 'Crooked Hillary.'"

Well, this past Saturday the Associated Press reported that "Trump's campaign is planning for what it says will amount to $140 million worth of advertising from now until Election Day." And now we're beginning to see that new game plan take shape. Since our last Campaign Scorecard on Sept. 23 and today, the Trump campaign's booked spending on TV and radio advertising through election day has surged by over $30 million.

Where, exactly, is that money going? We took a look at the top 25 media markets with booked TV and radio spending by both Team Trump and Team Clinton, including the PACs that support them. Our map below is interactive: mouse over (or on mobile, tap on) the blue dots (Team Clinton) and red diamonds (Team Trump) to see who's spending what where.

At this moment, Team Trump is set to spend the most in the Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla. market ($3.9 million, vs. $9.2 million by Team Clinton), Tampa-St. Petersburg (Sarasota), Fla. ($3.2 million, vs. $7.6 million by Team Clinton), and Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ($3.1 million vs. $4.9 million by Team Clinton). Good luck with that, Floridians.

One caveat: As the AP noted, "Trump's advertising plan costs more than his campaign has in the bank, meaning he needs to dip into his own pockets or continue raising major money. As of Sept. 1, the campaign had about $50 million in cash, though in a news release earlier this month, the campaign said it had $97 million in cash when including his joint accounts with Republican Party allies."

Ad Age 2016 Presidential Campaign Ad Scorecard
Hot spots: Advertising in 25 markets with the most booked spending on TV and radio from Sept. 30 through Nov. 7
Other spending (includes cable and satellite): $42,271,472.
Total spending: $158,884,723.
Source: Ad Age analysis of data from Kantar Media's CMAG.
Spending and ad buys (future buys subject to change) for presidential campaigns, PACs and advocacy groups from Sept. 30, 2016, through Nov. 7, 2016, as of Sept. 29, 2016.
Pay structures differ for candidates and PACs. Candidates pay the lowest unit rate. PACs pay whatever the market will bear.
Data reflect spending in local markets; data exclude spending on cable TV networks, broadcast TV networks and national radio.
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