About half the money being poured into television advertising during the presidential race is being spent in just 15 media markets, according to an analysis of data provided by sources watching the advertising market.
President Obama, Mitt Romney and their respective allies have spent a total of $378 million on those most crucial battleground markets, the data show. That's just under half the $759 million the two sides have spent on television advertising across the nation.
Mapping the Air War
Most of the top advertisting markets are in the battleground states of Virginia, Ohio, and Florida.
Media markets where political advertising has exceeded $10 million
Interactive map - hover for detail
Graphic by PETER BELL
Sources: Hotline reporting
Leading the list is the Washington, D.C. market, which covers the crucial Northern Virginia suburbs and which has seen almost $50 million in total spending. Obama's campaign has already placed more than $24 million on Washington television, while Romney's campaign has bought $12.6 million in airtime there.
Voters in the Cleveland, Denver, Tampa and Orlando markets have all been inundated by between $34 million and $39 million in advertising time. Voters in the Cincinnati, Charlotte, Columbus and Las Vegas markets have all seen between $20 million and $30 million in ads.
All told, the two sides have spent almost 60 percent of their advertising budgets in the 21 markets in which the two sides have spent more than $10 million. Virginia, Ohio and Florida account for four of these mega-markets each; Nevada, North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado account for another two; and the Boston market, which covers New Hampshire, is the final mega-market.