Opinion: Barack Obama’s spending far exceeds John McCain’s and shows states he covets

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Barack Obama bought $65 million worth of airtime last month, almost three times as much as John McCain, and shifted $7.6 million to Democratic parties in swing states to organize his campaign efforts.

Obama’s $65.5 million for airtime dwarfed the $22.5 million that McCain spent, according to disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission. The media firm, GMMB, received the bulk of the money, $63.5 million, to buy airtime.


McCain benefited from spending by the Republican National Committee.

Obama raised a record $150.7 million in September, spent $87.5 million, and entered October with $133 million in the bank -- compared to McCain’s $47 million in the bank at the start of the month.

Obama’s receipts included $118 million raised directly into his campaign account, and $32.5 million from a joint fundraising committee he established with the Democratic National Committee that draw tens of millions in five-figure donations.

Obama’s spending on state parties shows the breadth of his campaign. The Democrat gave $1.7 million to the Florida Democratic Party, and $1.01 million to the party in Ohio. George W. Bush carried both states twice, capturing their combined 47 electoral votes.

Obama gave $821,000 to Michigan where McCain hoped to compete but abandoned earlier this month, and $601,000 in Wisconsin, where Republicans are on the retreat.

The spending also is underscoring Obama’s effort to capture states that virtually no expert predicted would be in play: $253,000 to Montana, with a mere three electoral votes, $257,000 in Indiana, with 11 electoral votes, $391,000 in Virginia.

More of the same is going on this month. After giving $10,000 to the West Virginia Democratic Party last month, Obama started airing television ads in the state that long has voted Republican.

-- Dan Morain