Although conventional radio may seem obsolete, it is an important tool of the presidential campaigns this year, USA Today reports. Political advertising is flooding the airwaves in battleground states as the campaigns take advantage of the cost: $500 to $600 per airing for a 30-second spot in Northern Virginia, compared to at least $1,700 or more for a 30-second TV spot.
Issue ads share time with candidate-specific spots. "Radio is a very good medium to reach people who work for a living, going back and forth to their jobs," says a UAW spokesman. Radio boasts another advantage: watchdog groups pay less attention than they do to TV, so the spots can be nastier. An Obama ad falsely accuses McCain of opposing stem cell research, while a McCain message erroneously slams Obama for not supporting clean coal.