So Far, Prez Election Winner Is . . . Florida?

Iowa is the runner-up in local TV buys; New Hampshire, South Carolina neglected

The Iowa Caucuses are only six weeks away, but ad dollars haven’t really started flowing in some of the most important presidential primary states.

According to a TVB review of Campaign Media Analysis Group data on local TV buys, the state that’s seen the most spending for the presidential campaign is Florida, where Democrats and Republicans combined had spent nearly $2.2 million through Nov. 6. The runners-up were Washington, D.C., with $1.7 million, and Iowa, at $1.2 million. Meanwhile, early primary states New Hampshire and South Carolina have been neglected, with totals of $387,760 and $229,874, respectively. New Hampshire got a boost last week, though, with a big buy from a PAC that supports former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman.

Compared to the last presidential election, spending is off to a slow start. It’s a fraction of what it was at this point in 2007, said CMAG president Ken Goldstein. “Every day of drama in the Republican primary is another day you don’t need to advertise,” he said.

Still, this election is expected to break spending records, and that could mean massive buys in a short period of time next year.