Although billionaire GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump can certainly afford a lot of paid advertising as part of his campaign, he hasn’t needed to. A new study found that Trump has earned nearly $2 billion worth of free media coverage.
The $1.9 billion worth of media airtime for Trump is more than what all of his Republican rivals spent on advertising combined. The figure was calculated using MediaQuant data that tracked airtime for each presidential candidate and then computed a dollar value based on advertising rates, reported the New York Times.
In the last month alone, Trump received about $400 million in free media coverage, which is what John McCain spent on his entire 2008 presidential campaign, according to the Times.
Hillary Clinton has earned $746 million in free coverage while her Democratic presidential rival Bernie Sanders, at $321 million, and Republican candidate Ted Cruz, at $313 million, are the only other candidates who have earned more than $300 million in free coverage.
In total, Trump has spent a paltry $15 million on paid advertising on TV and radio, according to Ad Age data. In comparison, Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the presidential race last month, spent almost $80 million on paid advertising. The next biggest advertising spenders this election cycle are Republican candidate Marco Rubio, who has spent $69 million, and Hillary Clinton, who has spent $48 million.