Which 2016 Candidate Has Spent the Most on TV Ads?

Image: John Kasich
John Minchillo / AP

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By Mark Murray

Donald Trump today dismissed Ben Carson tying him for the lead in Iowa in a recent poll because of the "tremendous" amount Carson is spending on advertisements.

"I like Ben a lot. He’s a good guy," Trump told ABC News. "But he’s been spending a tremendous amount of advertising money out in Iowa."

Well, not exactly -- at least when it comes to TV advertising.

According to ad-spending data from NBC News partner SMG Delta, Carson's campaign has spent $297,000 so far in TV ads -- $184,000 in Iowa, $113,000 in New Hampshire, and just $25,000 this week alone. (Pro-Carson Super PACs or outside groups have yet to spend on TV.)

By contrast, groups supporting Ohio Gov. John Kasich have spent nearly $4 million in TV ads (all in New Hampshire), an outside group backing Marco Rubio has spent $2.6 million (all on cable), and Hillary Clinton's campaign has spent $2.2 million (in both Iowa and New Hampshire).

Below is a look at all of the TV ad spending. (Caveat: Given that Super PACs and outside groups have to pay more for TV ads than actual campaigns, money spent isn't a perfect metric. But it gives you a good idea of who is on the air and where.)

Total ad spending (as of Sept. 1, 2015)

Team Kasich: $3.7 million (all in NH)

Team Rubio: $2.6 million (all on national cable)

Team Clinton: $2.2 million (in IA, NH)

Team Jindal: $1.6 million (all in IA)

Team Christie: $1.4 million (all in NH)

Team Perry: $1.4 million (all in IA)

Team Paul: $470K (in IA, NH)

Team Pataki: $314K (in NH)

Team Carson: $297K (in IA, NH)

Ad spending this week (Sept. 1-Sept. 7)

Christie (via America Leads Super PAC): $345K -- all in NH

Clinton (via campaign): $304K -- IA and NH

Kasich (via New Day Independent Media Commmitte): $182K -- all in NH

Carson (via campaign): $25K

Top TV ad spenders in Iowa

Team Jindal: $1.6 million

Team Perry: $1.4 million

Team Clinton: $845K

Team Carson: $184K

Top TV ad spenders in New Hampshire

Team Kasich: $3.7 million

Team Christie: $1.4 million

Team Clinton: $1.4 million

Team Paul: $345K

Team Pataki: $314K

Team Carson: $113K

SOURCE: SMG Delta/NBC News