Presidential hopeful Ron Paul is leading other Republican presidential candidates in Iowa — at least in television advertising expenditures, according to a report Thursday in the Des Moines Register
The newspaper reports the Texas congressman has spent more than $230,000 on TV ads, which is more than six times the amount spent by other candidates vying for the nomination. His Lone Star State counterpart, Gov. Rick Perry, has spent only about $29,000.
Overall, the GOP field has spent less than $500,000 on television in the Des Moines market, which is far less than the nearly $3.6 million that Republican candidates dropped there in the 2008 Iowa caucus cycle.
Why the low ad buys? The Register noted the absence of a competing Democratic primary in 2012 since President Barack Obama is seeking re-election, and the fact that Republican candidates have less cash in the bank at this point in the race than they did four years ago.
“We’re very blessed with strong fundraising, and we plan to keep it up,” Paul campaign spokesman Jesse Benton told the paper. “We don’t want to be one of the candidates who surges and then falls off.”
Benton described the TV ad buys as a key element of the campaign and said Paul plans to continue advertising through the Jan. 3 caucuses.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was the biggest TV ad buyer in Iowa four years ago, spending about $1.4 million. But so far, the Register noted, the Romney campaign has not purchased any advertising time in the Des Moines market, which is the largest in the state.
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