In some cases, Romney paid four times as much for TV ads as Obama

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Mitt Romney didn’t just pay too much in taxes. As Politico reported last month, he paid too much for his TV ads, too.

(The following graphic represents early September media buys in Columbus, Ohio. It was provided to TheDC by a national media buyer with extensive background buying in America’s most competitive state, and is representative of other examples we have seen):

The cost differential is attributable to the fact that Team Obama bought “preemptable” or or “lowest unit rate” ads — while Team Romney paid for “fixed,” non-preemptable rates.

“Obama could deliver 1,000 points for a fourth as much as Romney,” said one source.

So why didn’t Team Romney negotiate better rates? Since spots are typically not bumped in early September, the notion of reserving non-preemptable ads — in order to guarantee they would air — seems implausible.

According to our source, Team Obama simply did the “due diligence to find where the lowest unit rate was,” a tedious process which “takes manpower.”

Conversely, it appears Team Romney simply didn’t want bother with the hassle. So they threw money at the problem — and walked away.

This, no doubt, saved a lot of time and energy. But it also cost a lot of money.

Matt K. Lewis