Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton hasn’t gained a considerable edge over Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump despite outspending him by a factor of five to one, according to an analysis released Tuesday.
The report, published by NBC News, finds the Clinton campaign had spent $96.4 million on TV advertising while Trump’s campaign only spent $17.3 million, The Hill reported.
But the polls are showing a very tight race.
Data website FiveThirtyEight gave Clinton a 56 percent chance of winning as of Wednesday while the RealClearPolitics average of national polls showed her with an edge of about 1 percentage point nationwide.
Democratic strategists say that Clinton’s TV advertising strategy could be losing its effectiveness.
“It’s becoming more difficult to target voters,” said one Democratic strategist, who requested anonymity to speak candidly to The Hill. “Voters are more cynical about ads because they have seen them for decades. Nothing is as effective as it used to be.”
Republican strategists, on the other hand, say Clinton is just a flawed candidate.
Other experts say that viewing habits among younger voters, Clinton’s tendency to run negative ads, and Clinton’s failure to gain enough earned media attention like Trump could be the problem.
“He’s a walking attention magnet, and interesting,” Republican ad-maker Fred Davis said to The Hill. “She’s the past and relatively dull.”
Regardless of the reason, political operatives agree that outspending candidates on airtime is no longer a guarantee of success.
“It’s a mistake on the part of the campaigns to believe you can dig yourself out of a hole or bury your opponent simply be outspending them on air. It’s just not realistic anymore,” the anonymous Democratic strategist said.