(WASHINGTON) — The Obama campaign on Friday placed its final ad buy of the 2012 election cycle, purchasing TV airtime in two Florida markets and four Virginia markets, a campaign official told ABC News. The milestone marks the conclusion of what has been a historic presidential campaign in terms of number of ads run and dollars spent by both sides.
“The Romney campaign has tried to claim for weeks that they’d be victorious in those states, but from everything we’re seeing in the numbers and on the ground, we believe that they’ll end up in the president’s column on Tuesday night,” the official said. Most polls in Florida and Virginia show the race tied or with Romney holding a slight edge.
The president’s campaign, already aggressively advertising in those states, “substantially increased” their airtime for the closing three days of the campaign, the official said. The targeted markets include Tampa, West Palm Beach, Washington D.C. (northern Virginia suburbs), Harrisonburg, Bristol and Charlottesville.
In both states, the ads appeal heavily to women voters on issues of health care and abortion rights; they court independents with endorsements from Bill Clinton and Colin Powell and the replaying of Romney’s disparaging comments about 47 percent of Americans as “victims.”
News of the final Obama ad buy, first reported by Mike Allen of Politico, signals the coming conclusion of an unprecedented ad blitz that has saturated TV airwaves for months in the battleground states.
All told, ads from both candidates and their affiliated outside groups have aired more than 1.1 million times in only 13 states, ABC’s Amy Walter reported this week with data from CMAG/Kantar Media. The amount spent on TV advertising in the presidential race has topped $730 million.
The Obama campaign has produced more than 106 unique TV spots during the 2012 campaign — the majority of which (77) mention Mitt Romney — by ABC News’ count. Independent studies have found that despite Republicans’ money advantage, Obama has run more ads – and more negative ads – than his rival.
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