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Presidential contenders, and the super-PACs that support them, have spent millions on TV ads in a key Iowa media market ahead of the state's Feb. 1 caucus.
The 2016 election has brought in more than $6.5 million in TV ads from a candidate or a super-PAC to the Des Moines market, according to a breakdown from The Guardian. That totals more than 12,900 TV spots from campaigns and the outside groups.
TV executives told The Guardian, which studied spending in the town's four main stations, that the super-PAC spending in the early-voting state is at record levels.
On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGive Trump the silent treatment Macron: Gets a win in France, but now the challenge comes Conway: I have 'no idea' who is leading Democratic Party MORE (I-Vt.) is outspending Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonWriter who pushed 'Pizzagate' conspiracy theory says he'll attend WH briefing Ex-Nevada state treasurer may challenge Heller in 2018 Trump administration to honor fallen workers MORE's campaign and has played more TV spots in Des Moines — $603,973 for 1,862 spots compared to $522,025 by Clinton for 1,687 commercials.
Recent polls have the two candidates neck-in-neck in Iowa. In a Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll released last week Clinton had a 2-point lead, with 42 percent to Sanders's 40 percent.
Meanwhile, on the Republican side, Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioTop Trump officials push border wall as government shutdown looms Rubio defends Trump: 'This whole flip-flop thing is a political thing' Rubio: Shutdown would have 'catastrophic impact' on global affairs MORE (R-Fla.) is leading the crowded field in spending for the market. His campaign and super-PACs have spent a total of $1,926,975 for 3,373 ads in Des Moines, according to The Guardian's data.
That's significantly more than GOP front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrudeau calls premiers to talk US trade Canada to Trump on trade: ‘Not an accident that hockey is our national sport' Controversial Ukrainian politician hires pastor as lobbyist MORE or Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzKansas Republican sworn in after special election Overnight Finance: Dems want ObamaCare subsidies for extra military spending | Trade battle: Woe, Canada? | Congress nears deal to help miners | WH preps to release tax plan Cruz: Seize money from drug lords to fund border wall MORE (R-Texas), who is coming in a close second behind the businessman in Iowa.
Trump has spent $218,840 for 828 TV ads in the Des Moines market. Cruz, or his super-PAC, have spent $819,610 for 737 spots.
Trump is expected to campaign in the state this week ahead of its caucus, with stops scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as Saturday and Sunday.