ricksantorum12

Santorum Spent Fraction of Romney Online Ad Spend

  |  February 24, 2012   |  Comments

There remains a sizable disparity in online ad spending among the 2012 GOP candidates.

ricksantorum12There remains a sizable disparity in online ad spending among the remaining GOP presidential candidates. The most recent data shows Rick Santorum - who leads Mitt Romney in national polls as they head into primaries in Michigan and Arizona - has spent just 8 percent of the amount the Romney camp has put towards online advertising.

The gap is much larger for Ron Paul. His campaign - despite its young, digital-media driven following - has spent less than 0.1 percent of Romney's web ad expenditures.

Newt Gingrich, on the other hand, has edged up to second place in the online ad spending race among Republican presidential hopefuls. Still, his campaign has spent just around 15 percent of Romney's online ad total.

The tallies:

  • Romney: $3.46 million on web ads thus far
  • Gingrich: $526,000
  • Santorum: $288,000
  • Paul: $3,260

To arrive at these numbers, ClickZ Politics analyzed Federal Election Commission reports showing expenditures by the presidential candidates from throughout 2011 til the end of January 2012.

Many would argue that Paul's campaign would benefit from more online ad spending to harness the powerful grassroots support he has garnered across the web, to turn that support into campaign donations, volunteers, and signups to build his list.

Paul himself, in a CNN Republican debate on Wednesday, complained that the biggest misconception challenging his campaign is "The perpetuation of the myth by the media that I can't win." He went on to suggest that the electability misconception is not present among his rally attendees. The Paul campaign has not responded to recent inquiries from ClickZ News regarding its online strategy.

Ironically, one of the biggest online ad spenders this election season is Endorse Liberty, a Super PAC backing Paul. The group has spent around $3 million on online advertising supporting the Texas congressman's 2012 bid.

All together, GOP candidates, including dropouts like Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry, spent around $5 million on online advertising through January. Along with the Republican National Committee, the total reaches just over the $5 million mark.

While the Romney camp has remained dedicated to buying online advertising, spending $1 million alone in January, the campaign appears to be shifting some spending away from Targeted Victory, the digital consulting firm that had been handling the bulk of the online ad buys. The campaign spent $700,000 on online advertising in January with American Rambler Productions, a consulting outfit reportedly comprised of top Romney advisors. Around $300,000 went through Targeted Victory in January.

2012 Election GOP Presidential
Online Ad Spending
CandidateAmount Spent on
Online Ads 2011 Through January 2012
Mitt Romney $3,462,474
Newt Gingrich $526,414
Michele Bachmann $431,807
Rick Santorum $288,255
Rick Perry $169,407
Herman Cain $102,479
Tim Pawlenty $75,773.00
Buddy Roemer $23,653
Republican National Committee $23,343
Jon Huntsman $6,603
Ron Paul $3,261
Total GOP Candidates $5,090,128
Total GOP/RNC $5,113,472

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

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