Presidential political ad wars are on - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Presidential political ad wars are on

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Your TV screen is filling up with political ads a lot sooner than usual in this election year.

Mitt Romney, now securing the Republican nomination, and President Obama are already taking to the airwaves in the election season.  

And we're seeing a lot more presidential advertising here in Iowa than some other states.  That's because Iowa is one of about a half-dozen battleground states in this year's presidential election.

Now that the race is set, ad campaigns are ramping up big time.  The candidates, and outside groups supporting them, are poised to spend more money trying to get your vote than ever before.

"Some said our best days were behind us, but not him.  'Don't bet against the American worker,'" an ad for President Obama says.

"What would a Romney presidency be like?  Day 1:  President Romney announces deficit reductions, ending the Obama era of big government," a Mitt Romney ad says.

Get used to hearing a lot more of that.  At six months out from the election, the presidential ad wars are heating up earlier than usual.

"Looking at '08 versus 2012, McCain started pretty early in 2008, in the month of May.  Obama at the time started in July.  Now this year, President Obama started in April and of course now, Mitt Romney is on the air," said John Huff, KWWL's general sales manager.

Not only are ads inundating the airwaves sooner, Obama and Romney have already spent a combined $85 million on TV ads alone.  That's on track for record-setting spending during this campaign.

"Even through the month of June, when you compare 2008, to now in 2012, in the entire broadcast TV market in eastern Iowa, the dollars are up 400 percent already," Huff said.

It's not just the candidates doling out big bucks.  Just on KWWL alone, there are over three times more super political action committees running ads, too.

The early ad onslaught will make it even more important for you, the voter, to do fact-checking before making a decision on which candidate to support.

"There's lots of searches you can do on claims candidates make as to whether they're factual or not.  Determining that can be somewhat difficult, but it's part of being a citizen that we ought to do," said UNI political science professor Donna Hoffman.

The economy has been one common theme among ads so far.  And we're seeing so many ads here in Iowa because our state has voted both Democratic and Republican during past presidential elections.

Both Obama and Romney see the state's six electoral votes as "up for grabs".

The latest NBC-Marist poll finds Iowa voters are split right down the middle.  44 percent of those polled support Obama, and 44 percent support Romney.  10 percent of voters are still undecided.

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