Slate Magazine recently compiled an interactive map of presidential campaign spending, and color-coded the states based on which campaign was spending more money there.
South Dakota, a sure-fire Romney win, is pale blue on their map. Obama has outspent Romney just over two to one here.
Is this true?
Yes, but it doesn’t mean very much.
We’re talking about just under $26,000 in net spending for the two campaigns combined over two years — less than some candidates for the South Dakota Legislature will spend this year.
That’s $17,612 for Obama and $8,180 for Romney.
What’s the spending on? For Obama, one word suffices: rent.
The president’s campaign paid $4,800 through early 2011 to the South Dakota Democratic Party for space in the party’s offices. Early this year it got its own space and has paid $9,672.41 to ADL Properties Inc. since then. That’s $14,472.41, or 82 percent of his total South Dakota spending.
Most of the rest of Obama’s spending was $1,810.40 for “staging, sound (and) lighting” for an event.
Romney’s spending divides into three categories. One involves events Romney held during his October 2011 visit to Sioux Falls. He paid $2,000 to the city of Sioux Falls in that month for “facility rental/catering services.”
The South Dakota Republican Party got $1,000 for “print advertising.”
Romney hasn’t rented any office space in South Dakota, thus giving the spending edge to Obama — not that “most money spent in South Dakota” is a race either campaign wants to win.
Still, $25,000 is chump change for these guys. In Iowa they combined for $2.6 million. Other swing states are also in different ballparks. (South Dakota’s not the state with the least spending. I think that “honor” goes to West Virginia, with a combined $7,000.)
Also worth keeping in mind is that the state where spending gets reported isn’t necessarily the state the money gets spent. Slate notes Romney spent an eye-popping $36 million in New Hampshire — but only because that’s where his direct mail company is located. The effects of that $36 million are spread out around the whole country. (South Dakota’s spending seems to be mostly genuine local stuff.)