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Obama opened the wallet to help win Wisconsin

February 22, 2008 | 12:29 pm

The folks at the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project report that Barack Obama hit the airwaves hard in that state ahead of last week's primary -- and it apparently paid off.

Obama spent five times more on television ads than Hillary Clinton, and more than twice what all the other campaigns (including the two Republicans) spent combined. The four candidates spent about $2.1 million to air more than 8,000 spots, according to the report.

Specifically, Obama spent $1.5 million to air 6,000 ads, while Clinton spent about $300,000. Obama's first ad went up the day after the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday primaries; Clinton's first ad aired Feb. 12. On the Republican side, John McCain spent about $180,0000 and Mike Huckabee about $150,000. From the release:

All of the ads aired by Republican candidates McCain and Huckabee were positive, outlining their own positions and priorities. Half of Clinton ads had significant negative content while one quarter of Obama ads attacked or counterattacked Clinton.

The results? A double-digit win for Obama in the contested Democratic primary, and a similar margin for McCain in the Republican race, which he has all but sealed up.

-- Scott Martelle