Although Sen. John F. Kerry has essentially stopped advertising, the Democratic National Committee and like-minded organizations kept the presidential candidate’s mess- age on television in battleground states and spent more than twice as much as the Bush campaign during the first week of August.
President Bush surged back to the airwaves after the Democratic National Convention, spending nearly $4.4 million on television advertising in 19 states, after going dark during the Boston nomination for Kerry. But organizations backing the Massachusetts senator outpaced the president by spending more than $11 million on ads during the same period.
A report released Monday by the ad tracking firm TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG showed that from Aug. 1 to Aug. 7 the DNC spent just over $8 million to buy ads in 19 states, while the Media Fund, an independent group that supports Kerry, spent $3.1 million in seven states.
Once candidates are officially nominated by their parties, they must limit their campaign spending to the approximately $75 million they receive in public funds for the general election.
By accepting the Republican nomination in early September, a month after Kerry, Bush can spend freely from his own coffers. The Kerry campaign will largely stop television advertising during August.
But so-called 527 organizations, which are named after the tax code that regulates them, can create and air advertising sympathetic to a candidate. As a result, anti-Bush ads will air in key battleground states all month.