Mad Money: TV ads in the 2012 presidential campaign

Outside groups — including super PACs and other interest groups supporting the Obama and Romney campaigns — account for about half of the ads bought during the presidential campaign. This page shows which groups are buying ads, how much they've spent and where — and when — they've focused their efforts.

Top spending groups

Select a group to see spending and ads

Candidate or party

Interest group

    Spent on ads

    % spent on negative ads

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    Ad spots by TV market

    Highest spending by state

    NOTE: All data since April 11, 2012, the day after Rick Santorum dropped out of the Republican primaries. Spending shown here is an estimate based on the typical cost of television airtime. Maps and state-by-state analysis show broadcast ads bought at the local level. National broadcast and cable spending are included in the overall totals, but data on cable ads bought locally is unavailable.

    SOURCE: Kantar Media/CMAG. CREDIT: Wilson Andrews, Jason Bartz, Dan Keating and Karen Yourish - The Washington Post.

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