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Flexing financial muscle, Biden swamps Trump on airwaves

Joseph Ax
·2-min read

By Joseph Ax

(Reuters) - Joe Biden's fundraising advantage appears to be translating into an edge on the airwaves, as the Democratic presidential nominee is swamping President Donald Trump with a blitz of television advertising less than 40 days until Election Day.

The Biden campaign is spending $45.8 million on television, radio and digital ads in the week from Sept. 22 to Sept. 28, according to figures compiled by the tracking firm Advertising Analytics. That total includes more than $35 million in new ad buys since the start of the week.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign has earmarked $17.8 million in advertising for the same period, according to the firm, after canceling millions of dollars of reservations in states including Ohio, New Hampshire, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Iowa, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

The discrepancy reflects the extent to which Biden, who once faced a daunting financial deficit, has closed the gap.

In August, Biden and the national Democratic Party raised a staggering $364.5 million, compared with $210 million for Trump and the Republicans. The Democrats had $466 million in cash at the end of the month, while the Republicans had $325 million.

The advertising totals also offer a glimpse into the states that both campaigns are targeting in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election.

Biden's campaign is spending more than $10 million in Florida and seven figures in Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nevada. But the campaign's bulging coffers have also allowed it to air ads in several Republican-leaning states that it hopes can be competitive in November, including Ohio and Georgia.

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said the president's re-election campaign was being judicious with its spending, targeting its television ads for states that are voting early while leveraging media attention for Trump's travel schedule.

"We are running a comprehensive campaign, while Biden is doing nothing but running TV ads," Murtaugh said in a statement.

A spokesman for Biden's campaign had no immediate comment.

Trump's campaign will spend $5.4 million in Florida this week, as well as seven figures in Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina and Michigan. In Georgia, Republicans have reserved $1.4 million, compared with less than $300,00 for Biden.

Biden will also air nearly $5 million in national television ads, including spots during the broadcast of National Football League games on Sunday, compared with $1.6 million for Trump.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Additional reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Daniel Wallis)