Reno most popular in nation for presidential campaign ads |

Reno most popular in nation for presidential campaign ads

Associated Press

RENO – Reno television viewers have been subjected to more presidential campaign ads than anyone else in the country, a study shows.

Las Vegas was No. 5 on the list released Friday by Nielsen Monitor-Plus and the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project – further evidence of Nevada’s status as a battleground state.

“Nevada has really emerged as the most contested battleground state,” said Ken Goldstein, a University of Wisconsin professor and project director.

“I don’t need to be looking at the tracking polls or be in the war rooms of the campaigns if I can look at their advertising decisions. They’re not going to be putting money in places they don’t think are in play. And that’s both Las Vegas and Reno,” he said.

Recent polls show Nevada voters are evenly split between President Bush and Democrat John Kerry.

Voter registration is almost even in the state with five electoral votes that Bush won by 21,597 votes in 2000.

The study showed the Bush campaign aired more TV commercials in Reno than any other market between July 30 and Aug. 23.

Reno was No. 3 out of 93 markets in airing ads by the Kerry campaign and Democratic nonprofit political groups.

When all ads were totaled, Reno was the most popular market in the country and Las Vegas ranked fifth. Reno has a Republican registration edge, while Las Vegas has more Democrats.

“We recognize Nevada is a battleground state, and it is an indication of how aggressively we are working to make sure Nevadans understand the choice they face in November,” Bush spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt said.

Kerry spokesman Sean Smith acknowledged Bush has spent more money in Reno.

“But the fact that we’ve gained so much ground in the last several months shows that maybe they need to be spending more money there,” he said. “We’re glad that we have them on the run in a state they easily won in 2000.”