Romney's ad-buying pattern was on display again this week. On Monday, the campaign still had not placed ad buys in three swing states — Nevada, New Hampshire and Ohio — for spots that were supposed to start running on Wednesday.
Romney campaign officials acknowledged the strategy has cost more money at times but said it allowed them greater flexibility to place ads where and when they need them, and to target the ads to demographic groups depending on what their polling shows.
Still, the strategy does have disadvantages. In Cincinnati this month, the Obama campaign paid about $175 to NBC station WLWT to air an ad on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Romney's team spent nearly double that, $300, to run an ad on the show.
In Columbus, Ohio, this month, the Obama campaign paid WSYX, the local ABC affiliate station, $300 to run a 30-second ad during "Good Morning America." The Romney campaign paid $550 for a similar ad that week, while American Crossroads paid $800.
"Just because the Republican side is stronger on dollar value, they're not stronger on audience size," said Joe Mercurio, a New York-based political media buyer. "Because of the way his campaign is buying, Romney has a smaller audience and his message to some degree is being polluted because the super PACs are muddying things up."
Gillum reported from Washington.
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