NEW YORK (AP):
Independent groups working to elect Republican Mitt Romney have helped him match or even exceed President Barack Obama's TV ad spending in dozens of media markets in battleground states. But the spending disparity doesn't tell the whole story, as Obama is still getting more value for his money with his ads.
An Associated Press analysis of presidential campaign advertising data from April through last week found that pro-Romney spending has exceeded pro-Obama ad spending by at least $65 million across the nine states expected to decide the election: Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Republican outside groups like American Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity have spent millions to complement Romney's campaign advertising, helping the GOP hopeful break even with or surpass Obama in places the president once dominated.
Obama has got a boost from Democratic-leaning groups like Priorities USA Action, a "super" political action committee supporting his re-election, but not enough to tamp out the GOP-leaning advantage.
Romney's allies have dropped millions of dollars in key swing state media markets. Without that assistance, pro-Obama spending would have outpaced pro-Romney spending in more than three dozen media markets.