The 2012 presidential campaign has seen more than $9 million spent on TV advertising in the Quad-Cities, more than any other market in Iowa, according to an examination of spending records across the state.
Of that, $5.3 million has been spent at KWQC.
Nine newspapers, including the Quad-City Times, examined TV advertising documents at stations across the state from March 26 to the week beginning Aug. 26. The records are, by law, public.
The money paid for 16,494 spots in the Quad-Cities, or an average of 95 per day. Most of the money was spent by President Barack Obama’s and Republican Mitt Romney’s campaigns. However, there were a handful of groups — all opposed to the president — that joined in.
Next on the list of TV markets in terms of spending was Des Moines, at $8.02 million, which paid for 16,511 commercials. The leading station in that market was KCCI, which saw $3.8 million in spending.
A total of $5.5 million was spent in the Cedar Rapids market on 17,088 commercials during the time period.
Brian Dumas, a Davenport-based Republican strategist, said KWQC accounts for the bulk of the spending in the Quad-City market — and the largest statewide — by virtue of its dominance in viewership of its local news among TV stations.
That commands a higher price, he said.
“If you want to reach the Iowa side of the river in the Quad-Cities, you go to KWQC,” he said of TV advertising.
There were 4,571 commercials on KWQC related to the presidential campaign paid for from March 26 through the week beginning Aug. 26.
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Ken Freedman, vice president/general manager at KWQC, said the the bulk of the political ads are running on news programs. But he said there also is spending on programs such as Wheel of Fortune and on weekend sports programming, as well as prime time.
He added the amount of advertising has exceeded the station’s early estimates.
“It’s just remarkable,” he said.
Ad buyers also note that they need to spend more in the Quad-Cities on a per voter basis than in other markets because part of the audience is in Illinois, a state that is considered safely in Democratic hands in this year’s presidential race.
Still, this campaign season, the presidential campaigns don’t seem to have shied away from spending. The TV ads continue in a steady stream in the Quad-Cities, along with other Iowa markets. It began in the spring and has picked up steam ever since. In May, $4.2 million was spent. Now, it’s more than double that amount.
Next on the list of Quad-City stations in terms of presidential spending is WQAD, which saw $2.2 million in spending for the period, followed by WHBF, at $888,025. Next was KLJB at $590,358 and then Mediacom at $110,945.