August 22nd, 2016 | Read more articles from 2016 or Visit the News Archive
The Clinton Campaign is Already Assuming Victory in Two Key Battleground States
Originally Appearing at: Quartz
The US presidential election is two and a half months out, and Hillary Clinton is already confident enough in two key battleground states to stop advertising to voters there.
An aide for the Clinton campaign told CNN that the campaign doesn’t plan to run local TV ads in Virginia and Colorado through September and October. Previously, Politico reported that the Clinton campaign left the two swing states off its upcoming broadcast state-TV ad buy.
A senior Clinton campaign official confirmed to Quartz that the campaign had stopped running local ads in Colorado and Virginia and does not plan to restart its ad buys there, but said these plans can change.
Political ad spending in Colorado fell 6% from June to July 2016, after rising 616% from May to June, Advertising Age reported, citing Comcast’s ad software firm Strata. In Virginia, ad spending dropped 12% last month, following a 20% boost from May to June, the publication said.
Clinton’s top aides were reportedly emboldened by the healthy lead the Democratic nominee holds over Republican contender Donald Trump in the regions, as well as by strength among minorities and college-educated white voters in those states.
Clinton is currently polling 11 points ahead of Trump, on average, in Virginia and in Colorado, according to Real Clear Politics. Overall, Clinton is an average of 5 points ahead of Trump in the latest national polls.
Trump’s campaign, which has spent substantially less on ads for the general election than Clinton’s, isn’t advertising in Virginia and Colorado for now either.
Pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA also said last week that it would suspend TV advertising in those same states, as well as in Pennsylvania, through September 20. The super PAC did not immediately respond to Quartz’s request for comment, but communications director Justin Barasky told CNN that Virginia and Colorado “are tough states for Donald Trump and there isn’t as much of a need for us to air ads there.”
National ads will still run in both swing states, as usual.
The Clinton campaign is reportedly focusing its final $80 million TV dollar ad buy for the fall on eight regions including Florida, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, North Carolina, and the Omaha market of Nebraska, a senior Clinton campaign official said. Overall, the campaign has spent roughly $70 million so far on ads for the general election, which began airing in mid-June.
Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign has spent $4 million on broadcast TV placements so far, as part of its general election ad push. The placements through August 29 are concentrated in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania.