The Buzz

TV ads flood Iowa airwaves in campaign’s closing days

Want to buy some television ad space here for your presidential candidate?

Bring the checkbook.

The Guardian newspaper estimated Monday that candidates and political action committees have already spent $6.5 million for TV ads in the Des Moines market. That’s about 10,000 political commercials.

But the number may not account for all TV ad spending planned for the final week, when prices for ads escalate dramatically.

In the last week before the Feb. 1 caucus, for example, a political action committee linked with Jeb Bush will spend $3,645 for one 30-second spot on the ten o’clock news at WHO, a Des Moines station. By contrast, a political action committee recently paid $1,200 for a 30-second spot on KCTV’s ten o’clock news in Kansas City.

Kansas City is a much bigger media market than Des Moines. Missouri, however, does not hold the first presidential contest in the nation.

Prices go up because the demand for time goes up at the end. Donald Trump’s campaign has spent $148,600 for time on KCCI in Des Moines in the last week, FCC records show.

In 2012, presidential candidates and PACs spent an estimated $12.5 million on TV ads in Iowa. This year’s spending will almost certainly exceed that figure, particularly because there are contests in both parties.

In 2012 only Republicans had a caucus contest — and there were fewer candidates.

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