07/10/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

TV Ad Spending To Set Record In Presidential Race

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The 2008 presidential race, which has already drawn a record number of dollars and voters, is poised to shatter another record: the amount of money spent on television advertisements.

As Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain barnstorm across the country before the November election, they will spend heavily on ads that will increasingly reflect the cut-and-thrust of the campaign.

Total spending on TV ads in the presidential race is expected to top $800 million (403 million pounds), said Evan Tracey, chief operating officer of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political advertising. Such spending totalled $500 million, the previous record, in the 2004 race.

That's good news for the television business, which is suffering from a pullback in spending from automotive, real estate and financial service advertisers.

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