So far this month, election spending on TV and radio ads in Iowa has surpassed $10 million, a record for the Hawkeye State, according to an analysis by the Des Moines Register. Though candidates are spending heavily in the state, super PACs are also pouring millions into the advertising blitz blanketing the state’s airwaves.
The candidate with the most money being spent on him — in terms of TV and radio — is Rick Perry. Perry’s campaign has put the most into Iowa with $2.86 million. On top of that, a pro-Perry super PAC has made $1.33 million worth in ad buys this month. That puts the Texas governor at $4.19 million in ads this month.
Next comes Mitt Romney, whose campaign has spent $1.11 million in December. But Romney’s presence is magnified by Restore Our Future, the super PAC backing him. ROF has spent $2.85 on ads this month. Romney’s total, in second place, is $3.96 million.
Third place goes to Ron Paul, whose campaign has spent $1.37 million. Newt Gingrich, whose campaign lacks organization and seems to lack a lot of cash as well, has spent just $476,000. Tracking data did not pick up spending from Rick Santorum or Michele Bachmann, but a pro-Santorum super PAC has spent $347,000 this month. Bachmann’s campaign recently announced two ads featuring footage from her Iowa bus tour, though the ad buy amount is unknown.
According to the DMR, Romney’s campaign and Restore Our Future together make up half the candidates’ total ad buys in December. Rick Perry’s campaign has released nine ads this month — more than any other candidate.
The massive amounts of money going into building up the top spenders — and tearing down their opponents — is one reason Gingrich is slipping and candidates like Bachmann and Santorum are struggling to grow their support. With the caucuses one week away, there’s no reason the spending won’t grow over the coming days leading up to January 3.
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.