Convention nets Trump free media, but Clinton dominates ad landscape

Convention nets Trump free media, but Clinton dominates ad landscape
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Tens of millions of Americans are tuning into the Republican National Convention this week to hear from Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE and the party’s rising stars from across the nation.

But when television networks cut to commercial, viewers will see a different story — one dominated entirely by Democrats and former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Poll: Nearly half of Clinton's former supporters back Biden Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE’s presidential campaign.

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The presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign is spending $4.9 million on television advertisements this week across 32 media markets in nine swing states. 

The Trump campaign has not aired a television advertisement for months; two pro-Trump groups are spending just $105,000 on TV ads boosting the GOP nominee this week.

Clinton’s campaign is spending most heavily in Florida this week, where it has committed $1.1 million on broadcast and cable television commercials in eight media markets throughout the state. She’ll appear in the Sunshine State on Friday and Saturday for events. 

The campaign is spending $922,000 this week in Ohio — including $250,000 on broadcast and cable television in the Cleveland market, where Republicans are holding their convention.

The campaign is spending more than $800,000 in Pennsylvania, more than $500,000 in North Carolina and more than a quarter million dollars each in Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and Virginia.

By contrast, Trump’s supporters are virtually ceding the airwaves during the convention: The National Rifle Association is spending just $34,000 on cable television advertisements in four Iowa markets. Rebuilding America PAC, a pro-Trump outside group, is spending $71,000 on national cable television ads.

A Trump campaign spokesman did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Trump’s campaign has depended more on the largesse of the candidate himself than on donors, though the Republican has started more fundraising in earnest since securing the nomination. 

The Trump campaign said it had raised nearly $20 million in June, far more than in any previous month, though Clinton’s campaign said it had raised twice that amount.

The Clinton campaign began July with $44 million in the bank. Priorities USA Action, a super-PAC run by a close Clinton ally, said Wednesday it ended last month with more than $40 million in cash on hand.

While Clinton’s campaign has not yet reserved a significant number of advertisements during the fall, Priorities USA Action has set aside tens of millions of dollars for an advertising blitz scheduled to begin in early August. The group has reserved nearly $30 million in airtime in Florida, more than $20 million in Ohio and more than $10 million each in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Colorado, according to a source keeping a close eye on the advertising markets.

Priorities USA Action and Priorities USA-Women Vote, a joint fundraising committee established by the super-PAC and the pro-Democratic group EMILY’s List, is spending a combined $11 million in North Carolina, beginning the first week in August.

All told, pro-Clinton groups have reserved a total of more than $91 million in airtime across battleground states, a massive  ad blitz set to cast the race in a favorable light for Democrats. 

Pro-Trump forces have yet to reserve any airtime beyond Aug. 8.

Clinton’s campaign has spent most heavily in Florida, where she has committed nearly $7.4 million, and Ohio, where they have spent $5.7 million. The campaign has also spent more than $3.8 million in North Carolina, a state President Obama carried in 2008. Since the middle of May, Clinton has spent more than $2 million in Colorado and Virginia, too.