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Campaign Ad Spending Tops $111 Million in 2015

by Mark Murray /
Image: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks at the Growth and Opportunity Party at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks at the Growth and Opportunity Party at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, October 31, 2015. BRIAN FRANK / Reuters

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As the year comes to a close, ad spending so far in the 2016 election has topped $111 million, and a third of that amount has come from Jeb Bush and his allies, according to ad-tracking data from SMG Delta.

By comparison, $35 million had been spent on TV and radio ads at this same point in time in the 2012 presidential race – with Mitt Romney and his allies (at $8.5 million) and pro-Obama forces (at $7.4 million) being the biggest spenders by the end of 2011.

But in this current election cycle, Jeb Bush’s Super PAC, Right to Rise, is the No. 1 spender, having aired $37 million in TV ads, while the campaign has chipped in an additional $1 million.

Put it another way: Bush and his allies have spent more in ad money so far in the 2016 presidential race ($38 million) than all of the ad money at this point in the 2012 cycle ($35 million).

Team Bush’s $38 million is followed by Marco Rubio and his allies ($17.8 million), Team Hillary Clinton ($12.2 million) and Team John Kasich ($9.1 million).

The smallest advertiser? Donald Trump – at $217,000.

Top ad spenders in the 2016 race – so far

  • Team Bush: $38.1 million ($37M from Right to Rise Super PAC, $1.1 million from campaign)
  • Team Rubio: $17.8 million ($8.8M from 501c4, $6M from campaign, $3M from Super PAC)
  • Team Clinton: $12.2 million ($12M from campaign, $200K from Super PAC)
  • Team Kasich: $9.1 million (all from two outside groups)
  • Team Christie: $8.1 million ($7.7M from Super PAC, $400K from campaign)
  • Team Sanders: $7.6 million (all from campaign)
  • Team Carson: $3.2 million ($3M from campaign, $184K from Super PAC
  • Team Cruz: $1.3 million ($965K from campaign, rest from outside groups)
  • Team Paul: $1.0 million ($875K from Super PAC, $125K from campaign)
  • Team Fiorina: $1.0 million (all from Super PAC)
  • Team O’Malley: $219,000 (all from Super PAC)
  • Team Trump: $217,000 (all from campaign)

SOURCE: NBC/SMG Delta

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