But Advertising Analytics, a leading ad tracking firm, tweeted on Wednesday that “With no TV schedules booked today, @realDonaldTrump is off air for the time being. #Election2020 #PresidentialElection.”
The move came as Biden – the former vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee – was running spots this week in six key battleground states: Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, and Wisconsin. And on Thursday the Biden campaign touted that they were going up with ads in Ohio, a quadrennial swing state that Trump won by 8 points four years ago but where recent polls show a close contest for the state’s 18 electoral votes.
The former vice president’s campaign is stepping up its game – spending roughly $15 million last week and $14.5 million this week to run TV, digital and radio commercials in the key battlegrounds. That’s a dramatic increase compared to what they had been spending prior to mid-July.
Pointing to the pause in Trump campaign ads, Advertising Analytics vice president John Link highlighted that “historically it is a bit of an anomaly. We haven’t really seen a full breaking like this.”
But Link also noted that it may just be for a day or two and noted that the Trump campaign already has $146.5 million pre-booked to run commercials from Labor Day through Election Day.
The Trump campaign told Fox News “with the leadership change in the campaign, there’s understandably a review and fine-tuning of the campaign’s strategy. We’ll be back on the air shortly, even more forcefully exposing Joe Biden as a puppet of the radical left-wing.”
That change in leadership came earlier this month, when veteran campaign operative Bill Stepien replaced Brad Parscale as Trump’s campaign manager.
In the past 24 hours, a number of outlets have spotlighted the Trump campaign going dark on the airwaves in Michigan, where the latest public opinion polls show Biden holding an upper single-digit lead over the president.
Biden campaign deputy press secretary Matt Hill tweeted on Thursday that “As Donald Trump is retreating on the airwaves in key states like Michigan, @JoeBiden is expanding his paid media offensive into OHIO and highlighting his #BuildBackBetter agenda in new ads.”
But Advertising Analytics Link points out that the Trump campaign’s committed to spending $11.4 million to run ads in the state in the autumn. He says that would roughly be around 8 percent of the campaign’s total ad spending, up from the approximate 3 percent of their total ad spending they’ve shelled out to date to run commercials in Michigan.
While the president’s campaign takes what may be a very short break in running spots in the key battlegrounds, the leading pro-Trump super PAC America First is spending nearly $23 million to run commercials through the end of August in Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.