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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 SandersWas Trump’s speech before Congress a pivot point? Left threatens Trump-friendly senators with primary challenges Sanders tells supporters after Trump speech: 'Continue the fight' MORE (I-Vt.) is outspending Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonGOP rep criticizes female Dems for wearing 'bad-looking white pantsuits' to Trump speech Trump takes on the 'permanent government' — but loses AFL-CIO president backs Trump's infrastructure plan 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 RubioRubio: Lack of GOP consensus on healthcare is not a 'weakness' Overnight Finance: Trump budget faces GOP resistance | House panel blocks Dem effort on Trump's business ties | Corporate giants at odds over border tax Rubio defends foreign aid amid proposed cuts 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 TrumpTrump’s silence on student loan crisis is deafening Widow of slain Indian man: What will government do ‘to stop hate crime’? Rove: Dems acted ‘small’ at Trump speech MORE or Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzGOP hasn’t reached out to centrist Dem senators Left threatens Trump-friendly senators with primary challenges Overnight Healthcare: GOP looks for ObamaCare path as right lashes out 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.