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Here's who spent big on ads in Super Tuesday states

Watch the total campaign contributions for each 2020 candidate rise and fall over time in this motion graphic. These numbers include contributions from supporters, money rolled over from other campaigns and funds provided by the candidates themselves. They are not reflective of overall spending.

Posted: Mar 3, 2020 3:57 PM
Updated: Mar 3, 2020 6:45 PM


If you live in one of the 14 states voting on Super Tuesday, you've probably seen a lot of commercials for Michael Bloomberg lately.

That's because the former New York mayor's presidential campaign has poured more than $234 million into TV, radio and digital advertising in the first Super Tuesday states -- more than 10 times that of any of his Democratic rivals.

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With so many states holding primaries on Tuesday, spanning the country from Maine to California, where does a less well-funded campaign put their money into media advertising? Do you try to show TV commercials in California and Texas, two of the most expensive media markets in the country? Or make up for lost ground with less expensive digital ads, or states with cheaper ad rates? Is it better to spend a large amount on a few states, or a little in every state?

For example, Pete Buttigieg, before ending his campaign on Sunday, decided to distribute at least $100,000 in ads to as many states as possible (11), even if the ad buys were smaller than his competitors.

Amy Klobuchar, on the other hand, spread most of her $4.7 million over eight states. More than half of that money, $2.51 million, went toward ads in North Carolina and Virginia, while states favoring the more liberal Bernie Sanders in the polls only received a few thousand dollars in digital ads. Klobuchar ended her campaign on Monday, a day before Super Tuesday.

As seen in the chart below, the spending numbers collected by Kantar Media/CMAG -- current as of Tuesday morning -- help illuminate the strategy of the five Democratic candidates left in the race.

Michael Bloomberg not only paid for TV ads in every state -- he leads in spending for every state by wide margins.

Bernie Sanders spent more than $18 million on ads, including $8.3 million in California. What state only received $14,000? His home state of Vermont. Only one candidate still in the race paid for TV and radio ads in Vermont: Bloomberg.

Elizabeth Warren has only spent about $2.4 million on ads, most of it going to Texas, Colorado and Utah. However, with an $11.7 million assist from her super PAC -- Persist PAC -- she was able to cover 13 states with over $100,000 in advertising.

Joe Biden, coming off his win in South Carolina, has only paid for about $2.2 million in ads that mostly focused on six states. All of those states aside from California are in the South, where he enjoys a polling advantage.

Tulsi Gabbard has spent the majority of her $201,821 in just three states, but two of them are big markets: California and Texas.

One question that remains is how much ad spending carries over to the ballot box. Businessman Tom Steyer, who ended his campaign over the weekend, spent a total of $22.5 million on media ads in South Carolina. Not only did Steyer place third there, but he failed to garner enough votes to qualify for delegates.

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CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
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Reported Deaths: 74800
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153472027244
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
Alpine1080
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